Porunthal: dating of paddy in the 5th century B.C. and possible consequences on the evaluation of the history of writing in India

Jean-Luc CHEVILLARD jean-luc.chevillard at UNIV-PARIS-DIDEROT.FR
Sat Oct 15 19:21:02 UTC 2011

Dear Corinna Wessels-Mevissen,

can you explain more in details
why you are sceptical with the decipherment

Every comment is important, at this stage, ...

Best wishes

-- jlc

On 16/10/2011 00:30, Corinna Wessels-Mevissen wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
> What I have seen in the circulated picture is just typical "graffiti" we 
> are getting on Iron Age to Early Historical Period pottery in graves 
> (urn burial and/or "Megalithic"). It has been known since the 19th 
> century. Sometimes it comes like a "code" or intentional sequence. One 
> should, of course, analyse it further, but I fail to see a breakthrough 
> in this one. (I had studied such ceramics for my M.A. thesis back in the 
> 80ies and have seen scores of the typical pottery items, all without 
> Brahmi writing.)
> Sorry to say this, but I would be always very careful, even suspicious, 
> believing this kind of "news" without looking into the matter very 
> closely. Actually, the original article should have illustrated the 
> example for everyone to see. Archaeologists, particularly in Tamilnadu, 
> seem to be under a constant kind of pressure (or is it a mindset?) to 
> "push back" so far established dates. They regularly come up with 
> various attempts.
> With best wishes,
> Corinna Wessels-Mevissen
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Von:* Dipak Bhattacharya <dbhattacharya200498 at YAHOO.COM>
> *An:* INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
> *Gesendet:* 18:06 Samstag, 15.Oktober 2011
> *Betreff:* Re: [INDOLOGY] Porunthal: dating of paddy in the 5th century 
> B.C. and possible consequences on the evaluation of the history of 
> writing in India
> Dear Colleagues,
> My apology that this is no additional light but the most common and 
> inevitable queries. Will the Porunthal discovery shorten the dark gap 
> between Asokan Brahmi and its supposed origin in the 800 century BCE 
> phɶnician script? The claim of the Piprawa vase legend as representing a 
> pre-Asokan stage of Brahmi has not got universal ac-ra"ceptance. The 
> Porunthal relic too may offer and open up new problems. If the claimed 
> date is true it should represent an intermediate stage which cannot be 
> without visible signs. Apparently it is ancient Tamil. But unless it is 
> proved to be intermediate between Asokan Brahmi and the 800 century BCE 
> phɶnician script, the mostly accepted theory shall not be proved. I 
> tried but could not be sure that it could be regarded as intermediate. I 
> paste below the original legend and the modern Tamil /vayara/. I would 
> have been glad to paste an image of the same word in ancient Tamil. In 
> spite of my inability, it can be said with confidence that Raja Raja 
> Chola's va is not like the inital diamond. I have no idea about RRC's ba 
> of which I have no specimen. The basic problem may be attempted from 
> this meagre evidence, I think.
> “Evidences” and views on pre-Asokan Brahmi are a legion – starting with 
> at least K.P. Jayaswal and stretching up to at least the late twentieth 
> century. Going by previous experience I keep my fingers crossed.I wish I 
> am proved wrong.
> Best wishes
> DB
> வயர (or வய்ர).

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