Date of Musanagar Brick Inscription

Francois Voegeli francois.voegeli at GMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 1 15:37:36 UTC 2012

Dear Members of the List,

First, heartfelt thanks to those who have helped me with the Naanaaghaa.t Inscription (Harry Falk, Richard Salomon, Manu Francis, Jürgen Neuss, Suresh Kolichala and Andrew Ollett).

In the wake of this discussion, I would like to ask the distinguished epigraphists on this list what they think of the date of a Braahmii inscription found on a brick unearthed at Musanagar, Uttar Pradesh (if I am not mistaken…). 

This inscription was edited by A. S. Altekar in Epigraphia Indica 30 (1953–54), No. 21, pp. 118–120 (with one plate). 
The editor remarks that this short record shares some common epigraphical features with the Pabhosaa and Haathigumphaa inscriptions (op. cit. p. 119). He further states (op. cit. p. 120) that it could be dated between 150 and 50 BC.
It seems to my rather untrained eye that it shares some common characteristics not only with the two aforementioned inscriptions but also with the Naanaaghaat inscription. I would be tempted to ascribe it a date similar to the Haathigumphaa and Naanaaghaa.t inscriptions, possibly later than these two inscriptions.
Please let me know if I am wrong. NB: if need be, I can send a pdf of the article with the plate.

The date of this latter inscription is important to me because, after having made a survey of more than 3'000 inscriptions looking for attestations of Vedic ritual in epigraphy, it belongs to the three oldest I could find. The two other ones being the Naanaaghaa.t and Haathigumphaa inscriptions.

Many thanks in advance,

Dr François Voegeli

Senior FNS Researcher
Institut d'Archéologie et des Sciences de l'Antiquité
Anthropole, bureau 4018
Faculté des Lettres
Université de Lausanne
CH-1015 Lausanne

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