Epigraphic Approaches to Indus Writing [Hardback]

Bryan Wells (Author)

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ISBN: 9781842179949 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: American School of Prehistoric Research Monograph | Year of Publication: 2011 | Language: English 272p, figs, tbls

Epigraphic Approaches to Indus Writing


Epigraphic Approaches to Indus Writing is a comprehensive look at one of the last undeciphered Old World scripts. It has defied decipherment for 90 years because of the terse nature of the texts and the lack of a comprehensive corpus and detailed sign list. This book presents the analysis of a comprehensive, computer-based corpus using the most detailed sign list yet compiled for the Indus script. Custom computer programs allowed the verification of the sign list and the compilation of statistics regarding sign distribution and use. Among the questions addressed are: How do you create an epigraphic database? How do you define a sign? What is the Indus number system like? Where did the Indus script come from and what is the Indus language(s)?
Bryan Wells is an archaeologist, epigrapher and geographer who has excavated on the west and east coasts of North America and in Baluchistan (Pakistan). Wells has studied the Indus script since 1992, and holds a PhD in anthropology from Harvard University.

Table of Contents

Preface (Bryan K. Wells)
Contributor List
Foreword (C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky)
List of Figures and Tables

1. Data Collection and Reliability, Chronology, and the Typologies of Artifacts and Iconography
2. Potters’ Marks and the Origins of the Indus Script
3. Defining an Indus Sign List
4. The Process of Decipherment and Structural Analysis
5. Indus Numeral Signs
6. The Indus Language
7. Other Items of Interest


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