Language of Harappan Civilization; funerary pottery eviden]

S.Kalyanaraman kalyan99 at NETSCAPE.NET
Mon Mar 8 06:25:46 UTC 1999

Prof. Witzel wrote:
> At 21:21 +0000 3/4/99, S.Kalyanaraman wrote:
> >It has been noted in an earlier posting that the peacock connotes
ji_vanji_va> >(Pali), may the life live hereafter.> This is an interesting
case which we might discuss later.... It involves > the Munda word for peacock
 *mara'k/mara "cryer >  peacock", later Sanskrit> maara (and Pali etc) 'death,
God Death', the Munda peacock symbol = death,> and teh Cemetary H peacock
pictures on urns with cremated bodies.> This may be a very old concept... But
certainty is another matter.> I hope we can have a useful discussion... Yours
M. Witzel

This is fascinating. I deeply respect the views of Prof. Witzel including the
suggestions re: methodology. I look forward to further comments and leads from
indology members, on OLD forms of lexemes related to the practices of
interning post-cremation ashes in a pot...

I suppose the point is that if there are images such as the peacock, the
blackbuck, fishes, wavy lines and trefoil which recur on funerary pottery, in
a very extensive area, the OLD words associated with these images (assume
logography!) should have some nexus with death or associated cultural
practices... If ALL these images are relatable to this 'semantic cluster'
(say, cremation), the probability of their being related to an OLD form, of
say, a substratum language such as Munda or Sanskrit, will become higher...

I would appreciate comments on the comparative etyma in DEDR 4642: mayu_ra =
peacock (Skt.); cf. CDIAL 9865; man~n~ai, mayil (Ta.); mi_ril (Kond.a); med.u,
melu (Kui), in comparison with the Munda word 'mara'k...

The search is to identify such words (and of course, their OLDER forms,
subject to the methodological rigor) to get a possible lead on the language
problem which has hindered our deeper understanding of the Harappan culture...

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman

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