Harappan glyphs: 1)Head of a bull with one horn ligatured with an octopus (five-tentacled); 2)dotted circles on device in front of the bull

Kalyanaraman mdsaaa48 at giasmd01.vsnl.net.in
Wed Mar 5 12:10:26 EST 1997


The semantics of two glyphs may be presented as follows, using Indian language
 lexemes. The methodology is simple: each imagery evoked by the glyphs
of the script is linked to a group of lexemes (which have imagery meanings
and also other substantive meanings, exemplifying the rebus principle of
evolving a writing system).

1) A Mohenjodaro seal with inscriptions on two sides has a glyph:
head of a bull with onecurved horn is ligatured with an octopus (five-tentacled).

In Jatki language, vehRa = octopus.

Horn = kO (Tamil), kOZh, kODu (Kannada), koTi = curved end (Skt.)
Bull = kO (Tamil), gO (Skt.)

Potter = kO-vEL (Tamil), kOva (Kannada), vET-kO (Tamil)
Eminent person = kO (Tamil), gO-mAn (masc. nom. sg. of gO-mat) (Skt.)

2) The glyph of 'dotted circle' is extraordinary and appears in apparently
special contexts on a number of inscriptions and artefacts:

Three dotted circles adorn a pedestal; they also adorn the robe of the
so-called 'priest-king' statuette; a seal showing a fabulous animal (deer?) with dotted
circles on its body and the tusk of a boar; dotted circles are also affixed on the lower
pot of the device in front of the bull; the device, in some glyphic representations, looks
like a gimlet with wavy lines apparently depicting circular, shaky motion of the 
sharp drill-bit to make a perforation (on a bead).

vEtai = drilling, boring (Tamil);
vedhanikA = a sharp-pointed perforating instrument (esp. for piercing jewels or shells),
auger, awl, gimlet (Skt.); vedhita = shaken, trembling (Skt. cf. wavy lines)

A piercer, perforator (of gems)= vedhaka (Skt.); one who transmutes or changes the
nature of things = vetakan (Tamil); cf. bhedaka (Skt.)
Platform, stool, pedestal, place of worship = vEdikA (Skt.) vEtikai (Tamil)

Enam is an enumerative particle added to h (represented with three circles)(Tamil); cf
zrENi = series (Skt.)
EN = an edge, a border, a point (Kannada); 
ENa = a deer with short legs (Skt.Kannada) Enam = wild hog (Old Tamil.)

The compound vEtan = Brahma, god, Brhaspati (Tamil); vedhas = pious, religious, 
virtuous(Skt.) 

EnAti = general, warrior (Tamil); cf. senAdi (Skt.)

The three dotted circles seem to be phonetic determinatives of -na ending; hence,
the semantics of the glyph should perhaps be related to vedana = property, goods; 
act of finding wealth, riches (Skt.); 

The ligatured semantics can be explained as vedhana zrENi = group involved in 
worship or producing riches.[It is significant that the lexeme vETai = street where
merchants live (Tamil). cf. veza (Skt.); vETai, vEL  = desire, sacrifice (Tamil); cf.
vedi = the fire altar (Skt.)]

Regards, kalyanaraman.






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