ஹரப்பன் போன்ற மிகப்பழைய வரிவடிவங்கள் கண்டுபிடிப்பு!
பாகிஸ்தானில் அகழ்வாய்வின்போது, 5500 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முற்பட்ட வரிவடிவம் கொண்ட ஒரு மண்பாண்டத்தின் துந்து கிடைத்துள்ளது.
ரிச்சர்ட் மெடோ என்ற ஹார்வார்ட் பல்கலைக்கழகத்தின் (Dr Richard Meadow of Harvard University, the director of the Harappa Archaeological Research Project) ஹரப்பன் அகழ்வாய்வு மையத்தின் நிறுவனர், இருக்கும் எழுத்து வரிவடிவங்களிலேயே இதுதான் மிகவும் பழமையானது”, என்கிறார். கிடைத்துள்ள ஆதாரங்களிலிருந்து அவர் குஊறுவதாவது எகிப்து, பெசபடோமியா மற்றும் ஹரப்பா என்ற மூன்று இடங்களிலுமே சுதந்திரமாக அதாவது தனியாக இந்த எழுத்துமுறை சுமார் 3500 BCE மற்றும் 3100 BCE இடைக்காலத்தில் தோன்றிருக்கக்கூடும் என்கிறார்.
இந்த ஒரே எழுத்தை எப்படி மூன்று மொழிகளில் படிக்கப்படும்?
இல்லை, இது ஹரப்பன் எழுத்து என்பதினால் ஒரே ஒரு மொழியில் படிக்கமுடியுமா?
‘Earliest writing’ found
The fragments of pottery are about 5,500 years old
Exclusive by BBC News Online Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse
The first known examples of writing may have been unearthed at an archaeological dig in Pakistan.
So-called ‘plant-like’ and ‘trident-shaped’ markings have been found on fragments of pottery dating back 5500 years.
|Dr Richard Meadow of Harvard University: “We may be able to follow the history of signs.”|
They were found at a site called Harappa in the region where the great Harappan or Indus civilisation flourished four and a half thousand years ago.
Harappa was originally a small settlement in 3500 BC but by 2600 BC it had developed into a major urban centre.
|Harappa was occupied until about 1900 BC|
The earliest known writing was etched onto jars before and after firing. Experts believe they may have indicated the contents of the jar or be signs associated with a deity.
According to Dr Richard Meadow of Harvard University, the director of the Harappa Archaeological Research Project, these primitive inscriptions found on pottery may pre-date all other known writing.
Last year it was suggested that the oldest writing might have come from Egypt.
Clay tablets containing primitive words were uncovered in southern Egypt at the tomb of a king named Scorpion.
They were carbon-dated to 3300-3200 BC. This is about the same time, or slightly earlier, to the primitive writing developed by the Sumerians of the Mesopotamian civilisation around 3100 BC.
“It’s a big question as to if we can call what we have found true writing,” he told BBC News Online, “but we have found symbols that have similarities to what became Indus script.
|Work at Harappa is likely to fuel the debate on early writing|
“One of our research aims is to find more examples of these ancient symbols and follow them as they changed and became a writing system,” he added.
One major problem in determining what the symbols mean is that no one understands the Indus language. It was unique and is now dead.
Dr Meadow points out that nothing similar to the ‘Rosetta Stone’ exists for the Harappan text.
The Rosetta Stone, housed in the British museum since 1802, is a large slab of black basalt uniquely inscribed with the same text in both Egyptian hieroglyphs and Greek.
Its discovery allowed researchers to decipher the ancient Egyptian script for the first time.
The Harappan language died out and did not form the basis of other languages.
|Dr Meadow: “The earliest inscriptions date back to 3500 BC.”|
“So probably we will never know what the symbols mean,” Dr Meadow told BBC News Online from Harappa.
What historians know of the Harappan civilisation makes them unique. Their society did not like great differences between social classes or the display of wealth by rulers. They did not leave behind large monuments or rich graves.
They appear to be a peaceful people who displayed their art in smaller works of stone.
Their society seems to have petered out. Around 1900 BC Harappa and other urban centres started to decline as people left them to move east to what is now India and the Ganges.
This discovery will add to the debate about the origins of the written word.
It probably suggests that writing developed independently in at least three places – Egypt, Mesopotamia and Harappa between 3500 BC and 3100 BC.