The Indus Valley civilization was the most advanced in the field for longer than 500 years, with over a thousand settlements sprawling across 250,000 square miles of what is now Pakistan and northwest India from 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE. It had several large, well-planned cities like Mohenjo-daro, common iconography—and a script no one has been able to understand.
Some recent attempts to decipher it over at Nature, Andrew Robinson looks at the reasons why the Indus Valley script has been so difficult to crack, and details. Since we don’t know any thing about the underlying language and there isn’t any multilingual Rosetta stone, scholars have analyzed its structure for clues and compared it to many other scripts. Most Indologists think it’s “logo-syllabic” script like Sumerian i need a paper written for me cuneiform or Mayan glyphs. But they disagree about whether or not it was a spoken language or a complete writing system; some believe it represented only part of an Indus language, Robinson writes.
One team has developed the first publicly available, electronic corpus of Indus texts.
Another, led by computer scientist Rajesh Rao, analyzed the randomness in the script’s sequences. Their results indicated it is most similar to Sumerian cuneiform, which implies it may represent a language. Read the full article for additional information.
The Indus Valley script is far from the only one to keep mysterious. Listed below are eight others you might try your hand at deciphering.
1. Linear A
In 1893, British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans purchased some ancient stones with mysterious inscriptions in it at a flea market in Athens. On a later trip to the excavations at Knossos on the island of Crete, he recognized among the symbols from his stones and began a study associated with tablets that are engraved uncovered at various sites in the island. More