'Story or History of writing'/Part:03


The Indus Valley writing indicates that this population was literate and spoke a Dravidian language. The study also indicates that the Indus Valley writing was not used to write an Indo-Aryan language, because the Aryans did not arrive in India until after 1600-1700 BC. The Dravidian had their own tradition of writing. It would appear that they introduced writing to the Indus Valley, They continued to use this writing on their pottery in South India and later punch-marked coins. This is supported  by the discovery of writing in South India dating back to before 600 BC. it also appears that the writing system used in the Indus Valley was also employed in South India and that the language of the Indus Valley script was Tamil. Scholars argue that the Indus Valley seals were ‘flash cards’ used by the Indus Valley population to learn the writing systems. It was also assumed that the Indus Valley writing was written in a Dravidian language because of the presence of Dravidian speakers of Brahui in the Indus Valley. The Dravidian people originated in Africa, These Dravidian were Proto-Saharan people, The Proto Saharan also were the ancestors of the Elamite and Sumerian people. These Proto-Saharan shared a common system of writing which first appeared on the pottery and later evolved into a syllabic writing system .

It is clear that a common system of record-keeping was used by people in the 4th and 3rd
millennium BC from Saharan Africa to Iran, China and the Indus Valley. Although the Elamite and Sumerian abandoned this writing in favour of the cuneiform script, the Dravidian, Minoans and Mande (the creators of the Libyco-Berber writing) continued to use the Proto-Saharan script. The Sumerian, Elamite, Dravidian and Manding languages are genetically related and Dr Clyde Winters pointed out all of these in his research articles. This is not a recent discovery by linguists and anthropologists. They  noted structural and grammatical analogies of the Dravidian, Sumerian and Elamite languages.  DR. H. R. Hall is of the opinion that Dravidian people must have migrated to Mesopotamia from India, whereas others think Dravidians came from Mediterranean regions, which was their earlier home. KP Padmanabha Menon writes about their close relationship. Padmanabha Menon was an eminent Advocate, Judge and Historian. many of Orientalists, are prepared to concede that the Sumerians, the Mediterranean race, are branches of the early
Dravidians. The late Professor A.Sathasivam from Sri Lanka and Dr.Loganathan Muttarayan from Malaysia,are examples. Eminent historians of the caliber of K.A. Nilakantta Sastri, have pointed out similarities in temple worship. .For example, Muttarayan provided hundreds of lexical correspondences and other linguistic data supporting the family relationship between Sumerian and Dravidian languages.
For example, Exaltation of Inana (Inana B),written by Enheduanna,the Sargon daughter during 2200 BC,We find some evidence to support that there may be some connection between saiva principles & sumerian religion.                                     
"Lady of all divine powers [ nin-me-sar-ra ],
Lady of the all-resplendent light,[ u-dalle-ea ]
Righteous woman [ mi-zi ] clothed in radiance [ me-lam gu-ru ],
Beloved Lady of An and Urac! [ki-aga-an-uras-a/beloved of Heaven and Earth],
Mistress of heaven [ nu-gig-an-na ] with the great pectoral jewels [ suh-kesda-gal-gal-la ],
Who loves the beautiful headdress befitting the office of her high priestess,
Powerful Mistress who has seized all seven of its divine powers!,
My lady, you are the guardian of the seven divine powers!
You have taken up the divine powers,
You hold the divine powers in your hand,
You have gathered up the divine powers,
You have clasped the divine powers to your breast!"[line 1 to 8,where first 3 lines are also given with sumerian transliteration]       

Here,Inana is believed to be the godess Korravai [Kali] by Dr K.Loganathan,Universiti Sains Malaysia(retd).Also Parpola in his book has a chapter on Durga and her relation to Mesopotamian goddess- Inana/Ishtar.

Like wise,Harappan language too have relationship with dravidian languages. Reputed archaeologists such as Sir John Marshall,Sir Mortimer Wheeler,Father Heros,Dr. H.R. Hall, Iravatham Mahadevan, Asko Parpola have published their Discoveries and Findings about Indus valley civilization,which proof that .Indus valley civilization could be called as Tamil civilization, which also support by more evidences from the artefacts excavated, Type & style of the buldings found and the coins & seals used. Also the Russian team headed by Yuri Valentinovich Knorozov [November 19, 1922 – March 31, 1999] suggested that the language of the Indus Valley civilization was probably an older Dravidian along with Clyde Winters. Further the decipherment of the Harappan seals also showed that they did not contain the names and titles of their owners.They are talismans, with messages addressed to the Harappan gods requesting blessings. This is in sharp contrast to the Mesopotamian seals which were used for administrative and commercial purposes. 

The Harappan seals were often found by archaeologists in a worn out condition and also,
seals often had holes drilled at the back, suggests that they were tied with a string and hung around the neck or from belts.The importance of the Harappan seals as amulets is attested too by the popularity of wearing totems among the Dravidians. During the Sangam period (of ancient Dravidian history), the warriors and young maidens wore anklets with engraved designs and or totemic signs. Archaeologists found that the graffiti on South Indian pottery was engraved with Harappan signs and further found that the Tamil Nadu pottery graffiti agrees with Brahmi letters dating back to 600 BC. This further supports the view that continuity existed between Harappan writing and Tamil-Brahmi or Tamili writing discovered in South India. It is also interesting to note that in Studies in Ancient Indian Seals, found that many Indian seals from the 3rd century BC to the 7th century AD, portrayed animals, with an inscription above the animal (just like in the case of the Harappan seals), which was indicative of the religious views of the owner of the seal. This evidence supports our earlier view that these seals were worn (or carried) by the Harappans to help them remember their goals, and to obtain guidance from their deity. 

In general, writing marks an important crux in the history of any civilization, not only because it marks a shift in mentality toward extending communication, keeping records and re-assessing thought but also because it allows a people to live on beyond their own lives and speak to a distant future. Recent archaeological research indicates that the origin of writing first developed around the Mesopotamia, which have the close relationship with Indus valley & dravidian languages, mainly old Tamil,as already explained. However, According to ancient tradition, writing was either invented by an individual or handed down to humanity by the gods. We now know, however, that the development of writing was a gradual process, taking centuries! 

[Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]

Part:04 will follow

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