Horses/Indus seals

S. Kalyanaraman kalyan97 at YAHOO.COM
Sun May 17 23:06:20 UTC 1998


I agree with Edwin Bryant.

Why should it be assumed that the seals should show
all the animals with which the people of the civilization were
familiar? Do we know the significance of the animals depicted as field
symbols (to use the phrase of Mahadevan) or pictorial motifs (to use
the phrase of Parpola)? In fact, to my knowledge, none of the
decipherment claims so far has addressed the problem of animals on the
inscriptions. Animal motifs and glyphs combine in curious ways to
constitute messages on inscriptions...


---Edwin Bryant <ebryant at FAS.HARVARD.EDU> wrote:
> In case my last posting was confusing (as it was to at least one
> may I just again try to reiterate the point (I realize we may all be
> growing rather weary of all this).
> Just as the horse is prominent in the Rg, so is the cow.  So *if* the
> I-A's were in the IVC, they did not depict either cows or horses on
> seals despite these being their two most important cultural animals.
> The logic, here (from within the parameters of the assumption that the
> I-A's could have been present in the IVC), is that just as the
> culturally-important I-A cow is not depicted on the seals, but was
> physically (as evidenced by cow bones), so, in a parallel fashion,
> the culturally-important I-A horse have been present despite also not
> being depicted on the seals (and although 'physically' less
evidenced than
> the common cow in terms of bones due to it being a rare, elite item).
> I hope this logic is not as convoluted as my prose.  Obviously, the
> alternative is that the cow-and-horse-centered  I-A's were not
> significantly present in the IVC at all and hence the lacuna of
*both* the
> cow and the horse on the seals.   Best, Edwin

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