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Re: VMs: O.T.: The Indus Script--Write or Wrong? (Science)

On Fri, 17 Dec 2004, Jacques Guy wrote:
> Or a total isolate, like Sumerian, like Proto-Elamite, and many more.

Actually, it's been argued by David McAlpin that Elamite is related to
Dravidian.  I'm not a specialist, but the arguments were mostly fairly
reasonable looking. See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elamo-Dravidian_languages.  The 1981 report
is the most thorough presentation.

> "A collection of religious-political symbols", eh?

That amused me, too, since writing systems are reglious-political symbols
anyway.  I suppose he means "without also conveying a text"?

In regard to a lack of monumental architecture, J.M. Kenoyer - mentioned
as rejecting the proposal of Farmer, Witzel and Sproat - argued last year
in an article in Scientific American that the walls of various Indus
cities were built as monuments and that Indus society operated along
rather idealized, non-contentious commercial lines.  I rather doubt this.
I'm pretty sure that people only build large, expensive, inconvenient
walls around things to keep people out; or, sometimes, in.  I suspect that
either the Indus towns were fighting each other (very common with towns)
or outsiders or some of both.

The SciAm article was:

Kenoyer, Jonathan Mark. 2003.  Uncovering the Keys to the Lost Indus
Cities.  Sci. Am.  7/1/2003.

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