Indus script new approach

Indus script was created in third millennium and is contemporary with other script of the Old World. There are several trials of interpreting on Internet. It is hard to interpret with no references. West European ancient cultures have more in common with Indus than the experts want to admit. Tom van Bakel sent me his interesting work. His method try to connect the language to the contemporary time and environment and it seems believable even when we have nothing to compare with

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This file introduces Tom van Bakel´s Netherlands essays on interpreting some features in Indus Script … see the links of PDF-files. I must confess that this hot summer 27 - 29 degrees C whole day at home did not allow me to deep analysis and I have forgotten some of my own work some years ago. Still I think this topic should be on Internet and then we could alter when we get more knowledge

Basic method

We have to define the relatives of the comparison-method used in all our judgement as well as in measurable science. In Sumerian literature we find that they formulated the basics that we need to recognise objects, give name and place them in the world of known things we can describe and analyse.

In the topic of ancient ideas we have to add the relativity of time. That means it is impossible to obtain 1 : 1 accuracy in describing of action and features of the particular time and place. We have no true recording of that time. Everything is literally qualified guessing. It could only be rough approximation depending on the quality of our sources. The special relativity make everything "relative" as the Greek philosopher said "everything is water /flowing"

We should be aware of the distinction real existence and fictive existence. Real existence and fact could literally be grounded while fiction flies above the ground and exists* mainly when we talk about it or write it down. WARNING using myths as facts are always flying fiction and need evidence of the real meaning tied to reality.

The designs of ancient scripts are using known details or whole figures to represent a sound/ symbol that describes the real object or abstraction. That means we have to know the particular environment and society if we really want to understand and relate some degree of truth. We have a little help as soon as we know that the script is organised and that everything belongs to same cultural area. In script every symbol could generally have only one meaning. That means that it occurs in same meaning in different texts/ strings.

My simple analyses of Indus are based on the fact many symbols/ themes are almost global and occur in the Old World from the Atlantic to the Indus, that I have studied. However we also find similarities in other parts of the world. Cultural symbols travelled all over the world like water that circulates in nature and in time reaches every corner.

The obstacles in science are that all cultures want to be special. Biased science wants to separate and isolate and make too many categories. I rather used the term "nature-users" than speak only about agriculture and forget all branches harvesting nature and following the same fertility idols and the rhythm of the local environment. Indian environment is special with the monsoon rhythm and harvesting twice a year. Still the structure of fertility is the same everywhere. In Europe we have 7-moon fertility season as we see in the calendar-symbolism

Then it is difficult to see the structures that connect them. Western Eurocentric bias was created in a time when England was ruler of India. It would not look goo if they discovered "high culture" in India and much older than known Britain. Some parts of Modern India want to isolate from the former dominating Western culture. We also painfully know that religions add bias and want to separate from the original all -human community.

Tom makes the comparison between the symbols and Indian cultural environment. While I compare the symbolism with what we find from Elam-Sumer to Scandinavia. I have been out of order in heat for four months so I will only comment this important feature

The One and Oneness


Traditionally they think this is Shiva, the 3-faced sitting in the middle of the world. The animals give at once the feeling of being outside Europe. Under the footstool is perhaps the Underworld and we find the odd animals under a footstool also in Egypt showing Isis kneeling on a footstool

There is the paradox that here we have inverse proportions. Originally the thinker wanted to create a simple image/ explanation that covers the spacetime of universe. But now in the end they need big temple and priesthood to explain it all. If we think about The One/ Oneness it becomes mystique … we simply do not want a simple explanation to the complex question.

Ordinary people do not like too deep analyses and explanations. The Indian philosophic tradition is to seek for The One. The formulation sounds strange but even Europeans want simple answers and like all thinkers they seek after the one picture or only the one word that is like Sesam Open! For some reason intellectual people should always seek "the meaning of life" and such impossible questions … My attitude is to not make such questions. I am so occupied in living and enjoying life so I have to reject useless thinking. Naturally questions that bring knowledge could be useful.

I do not think ordinary people those days thought about the universe as superficial. They tied practical things to the imaginary star images, but did not see beyond that like we do. In their everyday life they needed rules for timekeeping. All symbolism in rock-carvings shows us that simply notices about the time and the ritual. The Poems Enuma Elish and Voluspa originally is about the ritual of the year that is repeated every year starting again in spring time. The animated dead-sequence is the harvest and not the end of the present world but the one that is gone.

We could say that Indian philosophy has reached The One that is Brahma and no great difference compared with Christian analysis as logic. In both cases they animate this with humanised idols and measure the world by the humankind. My questions are about how to tie this organically to life and environment. If there is any creator I think he/ she would prefer that I concentrate and managing my own will that feed and defend me to my last breathe. It is a question about observing point and I am responsible for my own will.

Here we see that in Shiva above they try to include the whole world in one image. On the road to this we have the fire altar designed to contend relation figures that measure the leading starry sky. One could say that the "mandala" is the last step in the line besides the woven carpets with all symbols showing important ritual symbols. They all picture the universe and that is a wide concept from the small to the big universe that modern people prefer. The sitting Shiva is manifested in the little temple stupa that pictures "god in the germ" and on that line we have "Mithra in the cave" ... animating germ in shell.

I saw on TV that in Cambodia they make statues of Jesus, sitting like Buddha in the lotus and also like Shiva above but without the crown. In comparing religions and symbolism it is about seeing the similarities and translated as analogies. In this case there is no great difference in any way. . The virtual pole inside us work as well but could not be seen by our nearest people. One human does not need an idol since he can make it in his own shape. When we have groups of people we need the standardised image/ idol to refer to Unfortunately some people want to create border between "tribes" and easily they forget the natural commandment "we should love each other" to bring peace and property to all.

In a way the Nordic creation could be shown with similar image as Shiva above. In the earliest version of the first creation tells that the Giants made the world out of the Giant Hymer. Later the giants made the world in same practical manner as the Sumerian deities did. The symbolism is difficult to see since it is simplified and we do not get 3 dimensional figure. It should be read from one two or three footprints, two feet standing as a world pillar grounding the settlement.

Sometime they look more as the crossed circle/ swastika that also was used occurring in 4th millennium and that is spacetime measured by the sun-year. The centre of this often invisible time-wheel is marked with footprints since mankind measures the world from himself. Late times used the term Midgaard, the place where you live in the middle. Fines grading of the season are 7 summer moons symbolised by ships. The latest animations are wooden four-head, three-head and seven-head snake destroyed 1169 in Arkona by bishop Absalon … see Trinity and TJI! to Absalon since piety spared the heads.

In Sumerian literature the creator was Ea/ Enki and it starts with the World Tree, the bottomless deep and the gods creating order and some useful features. I have compared the Nordic myth and find these features in common in First Myth. The cultural difference is that in next step they tell that the giant gods Asa brought order.

As a boy they told us that Giants = the Asa (As - a) were megalith builders. I interpret that in a period they were aware the Asa are "like reality/ idols". Some people today believe they are flesh and blood and not pure ideas and abstractions. Still I see writers on the theme or suggesting Aliens build our rough stone temples … in such case we can compare with Egyptians building mighty obelisks. Most writers take Giants too literally and make them too realistic human or make them founders of dynasties.

I see the word/ concept used as poetic description of "the elders" with maybe higher brain capacity than average. It was use that the elders' assembly led the community. Continuously the leaders were the Giants. In medieval laws they use the expression "all men" that is the thing/ court assembly indicating the allmost collective lead at least in West Gautland. Our ancestors were not too fond of power since there were no use with small populations at the countryside. We can not use the word giant literally here since they have no real existence, except in books of course. The same use concerns also so-called gods.

Tom van Bakel's .PDF

"I hoped the small studies I did send around would give a lot of discussions. I send you this PDF in with I descripe the steps I took untill now." Tom

My steps in Indus Script

Proto Shiva seal. I think this seal is related to some verses of the Prahna Upanishade, and thus can be understood.

Three sided tablet and identity seals. The three sided tablets were incised with simple inscriptions which may have been prayers for a fertile year. The identity seals may have been a birth seals. The inscriptions contained the months of birth and conception.

Very small study on Indus women. I hope you will enjoy it. I hope to be able to finish a same kind of study on Indus men. You will get that when that job is done.

Small study on the Kashmir Markhor goat

Study on sheep carved on the Indus seals. These seals were identity seals. The inscriptions contained the months of birth and conception. These usually were embedded in important yearly events. The animals on these seals represented periods, seasons or months.

The warrior of the Indus Valley. On some seals a fierce warrior was carved. We still can see this brave man if we just look at him in a proper way.


Other discussion

"The Collapse of the Indus-Script Thesis: The Myth of a Literate Harappan Civilization" PDF Farmer, Sprout and Witzel

Comment on the Collapse