Harappan glyph on a tablet: five svastikas, a drummer and a tiger

Dr. S.Kalyanaraman MDSAAA48 at giasmd01.vsnl.net.in
Thu Mar 6 20:06:53 EST 1997


The Harappan tablet has glyphs on two sides: on one side, five svastikas; on the other,
a drummer beating a drum on both sides and a tiger (followed by 3 signs including the jar with a rim, and bangles or overlapped ovals; these signs are repeated on both sides of the tablet)

Let us relate these glyphs to lexemes from Indian languages which may help in extracting the substantive semantics of the society:

karaDe = an oblong drum beaten on both sides, a double drum (Kannada); karaTa = a drum (Skt.); karaTikai = a kind of drum (Old Tamil)
garaDi = fencing school (Kannada); karuTi, karaTi (Tamil); karaNDa = a sword (Skt.) This is being cited because there is also a Kalibangan cylinder seal which depicts a number (3) of fencers linked with a ligatured human with a trident-like headdress and tiger)

kaRaTikai, kaRaNTikai, karaNTikai = component part of an ornament as of a bracelet or anklet (Tamil); karaNDaka = jewel box (Skt.); karaDage = a box in which the linga is worn (Kannada)[cf. also karaTu = a kind of pearl (Tamil)

Terms  noted elsewhere:
keDiak = tiger
kaDaka = bracelet; caravan
ayaNa = winter solstice festival
ayaNa = movement; ayn = five (svastikas= ayana)

Hypothesis: We are perhaps looking at a community (caravan, troop) invitation (apparently, because the message is conveyed through multiple (?) tablets) to or a community gathering in a winter solstice festival which includes the maNiha (jewellers) who are expected to bring or be adorned with bracelet encased in a jewel box. Were the soldiers being adorned or honored?
The key to test this hypothesis lies in one sign, the two long linear strokes which follows the sign depicting a pair of bracelets (kaTaka = a bracelet of gold or shell; a caravan (Skt.).

Regards, Kalyanaraman






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