Prelims level : Ancient History Mains level : GS-1 Art and Culture
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  • A recent study claims that a majority of the Indus Valley inscriptions were written logographically (by using word signs) and not by using phonograms (speech sounds units).

Paper Title:

  • Interrogating Indus inscription to unravel their mechanism of meaning conveyance.

What is Logographic

  • In Logographic system a written character that represents a word or phrase.
  • Logographic systems include the earliest writing systems; the first historical civilizations of the Near East, Africa, China, and Central America used some form of logographic writing.

Findings of Study:

  • The Study points out that the inscriptions can be compared to the structured messages found on stamps, coupons, tokens and currency coins of modern times.
  • The article mainly focusses on understanding how Indus inscriptions conveyed meanings, rather than on deciphering what they conveyed.
  • Analysing the brevity of the inscriptions, the rigid positional preferences maintained by the signs of the inscriptions, and the co-occurrence of restriction patterns demonstrated by certain classes of Indus signs it can be inferred that such patterns can never be phonological co­occurrence restrictions
  • The researcher said that the popular hypothesis that the seals were inscribed with Proto­Dravidian or Proto­Indo­European names of the seal owners does not hold water.

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