Indo-Germanic and Svastika

Kalyanaraman mdsaaa48 at
Sat Mar 1 02:54:04 UTC 1997

The use of svastika sign in Harappan inscriptions is very emphatic and 
occurs in contexts which seem to connote something significant. Here
are some instances:

On a tablet found in Harappa 
(M.S.Vats, Excavations in Harappa, 1940, Pl. XCIII, 306),
FIVE svastika glyphs (alternating right- and left-armed), 
each enclosed within a rectangular border are presented in series. This
series follows three other signs: two overlapping ovals (like bangles), 
two long linear strokes and a pitcher with a rim. These three signs
are repeated on the reverse side of the tablet.

On a three-sided (prism) tablet from Mohenjodaro
[EJH Mackay, Further Excavations in Mohenjodaro, 1937, Pl. LXXXII, 1(a)]
the svastika within a rectangular border occurs in this pictorial sequence:
Fabulous animal with the body of a ram, horns of a bull, trunk of an elephant,
hindlegs of a tiger and an upraised serpent-like tail; a person seated on a tree with
a tiger below with its neck turned to look back; a svastika within a square border;
an elephant. One one of the three sides of the prism tablet, there is an inscription
with eight signs (some of which are: a pair of rectangular dice-boards, a pipal leaf
superimposed on the frame of a body carrying a club and also a unique sign which
looks like a shrimp or prawn ligatured with 'ears' This particular sign is unique because
there is only one other sign which gets similarly ligatured: the pipal leaf.).

Scores of seals containing this glyph are prepared with extraordinary care ensuring
geometric symmetry emphasizing the four arms of the glyph. 

Of course, there are other solar glyphs such as tablet depicting a circle with radiating
rays of the sun.

Regards, Kalyanaraman.

At 06:39 PM 2/28/97 GMT, you wrote:
>> On the subject of svastika, can it be explained why or how this sign 
>> (both right and left pointing) occurs on the Harappan inscriptions?
>The svastika is one of the most widely distributed signs. I am
>deeply sceptical of the assumption that it is a marker for any particular
>ethnic group or that it `belongs' to any particular group.
>In fact, I remember reading a claim that if young children, not exposed
>to this sign, are left to freely doodle, this is one of the doodles that
>occurs very commonly. I don't know if this is indeed true. Can anyone
>confirm or deny this. [If true, it seems that this is worth being
>publicized more.]

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