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Quasi-Bilingual Sources for the Decipherment of the Indus Script
The Sergei Rjabchikov Foundation – Research Centre for Studies of Ancient Civilisations and Cultures, Krasnodar
First posted: 22 October 2006
Abstract. The author offers readings of several Proto-Indian records. Some features of the Indus valley civilisation were preserved in cuneiform texts from Mesopotamia as well as in the Bible and the Rig-Veda. They provide a reliable basis for this decipherment. The main conclusion is as follows: the Proto-Indian language is the Proto-Indo-Aryan (Indo-European) one.
Let us consider the first group of records, see figure 1.
Text 1 reads: VA Mah-ana Men- Sara 5 (pek-) ‘DWELLING (the town) Magan on the Sarasvati river (is located near) the Five (Rivers) (= Panjab)’. Proto-Indo-Aryan va ‘dwelling; fence’ is comparable with Old Indian va ‘residence; dwelling; powerful’, vara- ‘fence’. The place name Magan reads Mag- ana ‘Much grain’, cf. Proto-Indo-Aryan mag- (> mah-) ‘great; ground’ and ana ‘grain’, Old Indian maha ‘great, mighty, strong, abundant’, mahataa ‘greatness, mightiness’, mahi ‘great’, mahii ‘earth’, dhaanaa ‘grain’ < *da ana ‘giving grain, food’, anna ‘food’. Proto-Indo-Aryan men- ‘town’ is comparable with Indo-European *men- ‘to rise’. Proto-Indo-Aryan Sarasvati ‘the name of a river’ (< *sara s-vat-i) is comparable with Old Indian saraa ‘stream’, sarit ‘river’, sar- ‘to flow’, uda ‘water’, Hittite vatar-, vadar- ‘water’. Proto-Indo-Aryan pek- ‘five’ is comparable with Indo-European *penkwe ‘five’, Old Indian panca ‘five’. In this record the variation of the sounds g/h is discovered, cf. also Old Indian agni < *ag- ni/nu ‘fire’ and vahni < *v- ah- ni/nu ‘ditto’. The town of Magan (Makan) corresponds to an ancient settlement known as Kalibangan. Interestingly, in a Sumerian text there is the expression ‘Great Magan’ (Oppenheim 1954: 15).
The lands of Meluhha, Magan and Dilmun are mentioned in the Sumerian poem “Enki and the World Order” (Kramer and Maier 1989). Dilmun (Telmun, Tilmun) is the Bahrein islands in the Persian Gulf. Usually Meluhha (Melaha) is equated with the Old India. One can suppose that Meluhha corresponds to Mohenjo-Daro and other sites located to the north of this town. One can state that Magan (Makan) also belonged to the Proto-Indian civilisation. No mention was made of the town of Harappa in the poem. But the Sumerians were aware of this town. It is situated behind Mohenjo-Daro, so that in my opinion the Sumerians called it Arali ‘underworld’. This term has the Proto-Indo-Aryan origin. It is known in the ancient beliefs that the north is associated with the sun located in the underworld. I.M. Diakonoff (1983: 179) offers a similar hypothesis: Arali is the designation of Afghanistan. On the other hand, Sumerian poems, “Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta” and “Enmerkar and Ensuhkeshdanna”, report about the mysterious land of Aratta (Kramer 1959). In I.M. Diakonoff’s (1983: 169) opinion, the town of Aratta was between Elam and India. In my opinion, this is another name of Harappa.
Text 2 reads: Da LAND-to 5 (pek-) re ‘The great land ‘The Five Rivers (= Panjab)’ gives (harvest)’. Proto-Indo-Aryan da ‘to give’ is comparable with Old Indian da ‘giving’. Proto-Indo-Aryan suffix to is comparable with Indo-European suffix to. Proto-Indo-Aryan to ‘two; to add’ correlates with Nostratic to ‘two’, Old Indian tol ‘to lift’, Hittite ta- ‘to take’, Lidian tarb- ‘to own; to possess’. Proto-Indo-Aryan re ‘river; to pour; rain’ is comparable with Indo-European *lei ‘to pour’, *re ‘dark’ (< *le/re), cf. also Russian lit’ ‘to pour’, reka ‘river’, English rain, river.
Text 3 reads: Ara Li 5 (pek-) ‘(The town) Ara Li (= Harappa) (on) the Five (Rivers) (= Panjab)’. Really, the town of Harappa is situated at Panjab. The name Arali (< Proto-Indo-Aryan Ara li) means literally ‘(The spring goddess) Ara is driving (in a car)’, ‘Ara is hurrying’. Proto-Indo-Aryan li/ri/lu/ru ‘to move; to hurry; to divide’ is comparable with Indo-European *leu- ‘to leave; behind; to separate’, *reu- ‘to hurry; to rip’, Old Indian ru ‘dividing; cutting’, Russian likhoy ‘evil’, r’yany ‘zealous’, rvat’ ‘to rip’, rubit’ ‘to cut’. Furthermore, the name Aratta (<Proto-Indo-Aryan Ara to) signifies ‘(The sun goddess) Ara is increasing, moving, driving in a car’. Old Indian ratha ‘chariot’ comes from Proto-Indo-Aryan ra to ‘connected – added, moving’, cf. Proto-Indo-Aryan ra ‘crossing; movement; solar; the sun, ownership, abundance; good’, Indo-European*al- ‘further; beyond; to grow; to make; to burn; white’, *ar- ‘to join’. Particles ra are presented in various Proto-Indian inscriptions.
Let us analyse the name of the goddess Ishhara of the unknown origin presented in the mythologies of some peoples of Asia (Afanasieva 1991). She is the mother of “the seven ones”, a scorpion (the Scorpius constellation) is her emblem. I think that it is an early image of the Indo-Aryan goddess Usas (< Us/Is/Su/Si ‘the sun’, the female hypostasis here), cf. Old Indian suu ‘to bear’, suurya ‘the sun’ (< *su ra), usa ‘sunrise’, us ‘to burn; to shine’, usnagaas ‘the hot season’ (< *us/su na ga-s- ‘heating – much grain’), Indo-European *su ‘good’, *sus- ‘dry’. I translate the name Is/Us-(h)ara as ‘The producing sun’. The Scorpius constellation was a mark of the vernal equinox in the 3rd millennium BC. So this chthonic goddess is a sign of the spring and the morning. As a parallel, the name of Hittite sun goddess Arrina- may derive from Proto-Indo-Aryan *Ar- in/un/ni/nu ‘the fast sun; the new sun’.
Text 4 reads: Men-LAND Ara-se ‘The town of the land (called) ‘Ara-se = Harappa’’. The suffix se signifies the plural. Some motifs of the Proto-Indian seals represent three or seven goddesses. Apparently that the plural tense in this context denotes abundance and fertility.
Text 5 inscribed on a plate from Harappa reads: Ga/ka – DAY se – Ara-se ‘The grain – the time of the gathering of the harvest – (the town) ‘Ara-se = Harappa’’.
Text 6 inscribed on a seal from Harappa reads:DAY re – Ara ‘The time of the rains – (the town) ‘Ara = Harappa’’.
Text 7 reads: To DAY-DAY, to Ara ‘The brightness of the sun is increasing, the (goddess) Ara is increasing’. The expression to Ara is equal to the name Aratta (*Arata < Ara to, to Ara).
Text 8 reads: Men- 7 ra ‘The town of the seven connections’. According to the Rig-Veda (I.22.16), the sacred hymns of the Indo-Aryans, the god Visnu travels through the seven regions of the earth. So the number seven is an Indo-Aryan sacred symbol. Let us investigate the Sumerian epic tale “Lugalbanda and Enmerkar” (Kramer 1959). First of all, hero Lugalbanda lies somewhere in the area of the Zabu mountains. The bird Imdugud helps him to return to Uruk. Enmerkar, the ruler of this town, sends Lugalbanda to the town of Aratta, the residence of the goddess Inanna. This hero travels through the seven mountains and arrives in Aratta. The goddess informs that Enmerkar must catch fish and cook them. The fish are a sacrifice to the A-an-kar. Then the king must invite skilled workmen on metal and stone from Aratta to his town. In my opinion, the name Zabu consists of Sumerian za ‘territory; border’ and Proto-Indo-Aryan bu ‘soil; ground; earth’, cf. Old Indian bhuu ‘earth; soil’. The name Zabu and Aratta are different designations of the Proto-Indian land of Harappa and neighbouring territories. Undoubtedly, the Proto-Indo-Aryans worshipped a goddess with analogous features. It is obvious that Ara is the Proto-Indo-Aryan deity of fertility. Proto-Indo-Aryan di or du mean not only ‘heaven’, but also ‘fish’ (2). The religious term A-an-kar includes Sumerian a-an ‘the strength – the sky’ and Proto-Indo-Aryan ka ra ‘strong; to grow; to lift; to move; to shine’, cf. Old Indian shak ‘strong’, kaash ‘to appear’, kha ‘sky’, shaakhaa ‘branch’. So one can suppose that the term ka-(ra) denotes the tree and even the World Tree. The seven mountains mentioned in this story are the specific description of the Universe only. Text 8, which tells of the seven links of a town, may be translated as ‘a great town’.
Text 9 presented on a seal from Mohenjo-Daro has the sign “tree; branch” ka. It is inscribed before the figure of a bull. (Text 3 is another record of this artefact.) Thus, I read the following words: Ka “bull” ‘The bull is growing (the description of the transition from the cool season to the hot one, the symbolism of rains and winds)’. Let us study the Proto-Indo-Aryan record performed on a Proto-Indian seal (U.7683) from Ur (Iraq) by the Sumerian cuneiform (Gadd 1932). This text, Sag ku ci, is presented together with the figure of a bull (I transcribe the sound sh as c). I read this record as Proto-Indo-Aryan Sa-ga/ka ku – Si/Su ‘The bull is growing. The sun (is shining)’. Here two main seasons are described. Proto-Indo-Aryan ku/gu ‘bull; cow’ is comparable with Indo-European *gwou, *gwo ‘bull; ox’, *gwou, *gwu ‘dung’, Minoan (Indo-Aryan) ku/gu ‘bull; cow’, Old Indian gaavas ‘bulls; cows’, kuuta ‘horn’ (Rjabchikov 2004). Proto-Indo-Aryan si/su means ‘the sun; to shine’, cf. Old Indian suu ‘bear’, suurya ‘the sun’. Proto-Indo-Aryan forms sa-ka ‘strong’ and ka ku ‘a strong ox’ can be compared with Old Indian shak ‘strong’ (< *sa-ka ‘strong; growing, increasing’) and kakud ‘hump of an ox’ (< *ka ku da ‘a strong ox gives’) respectively. Proto-Indo-Aryan sa means ‘one’ (a prefix or a postfix), cf. particles s in the Indo-European languages, Indo-European *sem- ‘one’. The latter term derives in my opinion from the Indo-European expression *s(a) em- ‘I have a lot of things’. In the Sumerian epic tale “Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta” there is such a note: the abundance of Aratta depends on the rains from the sky and the sunshine. One can assume that here a Proto-Indo-Aryan formula, Sa-ga/ka ku – Si/Su, is translated. One can offer a parallel in the Rig-Veda (I.64.2). Here the lofty Bulls of the Sky associated with the young men of the god Rudra are presented.
In the Sumerian epic tale “Enmerkar and Ensuhkeshdanna” two Proto-Indio-Aryan names are preserved. The name of the lord of Aratta, Ensuhkeshdanna, includes the Sumerian title en ‘ruler-priest’ and the Proto-Indio-Aryan name Su kai-s- da na ‘The sun – the comb – (a person) giving abundance’. Proto-Indo-Aryan kai- ‘comb’ is comparable with Indo-European *kaik- ‘to comb’, *kai-, *kait- ‘heat’, *kaito- ‘wood; forest’ (the symbol of the wealth and fertility). Interesting to note that a Proto-Indian comb is decorated with the six signs of the sun (3). The name of the vizier Ansigaria contains Sumerian an ‘sky’ (the designation of a priest?) and the Proto-Indio-Aryan name Si/su ga/ka ria ‘The sun is growing, driving in a car’.
Let us investigate some passages of the Akkadian epic of Gilgamesh (Diakonoff 1961: 60ff). Tablet IX (IV, 39-46) tells of the man-scorpion that order Gilgamesh to go towards the Mashu mountains. The hero is on the way of the sun deity Shamash. An impression of a seal dated to the 23th – 22th centuries BC represents Shamash appearing from behind the Mashu mountains (the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia). Tablet X (I, 1) tells of Siduri, a landlady, who lives near the deep of the sea. I believe that the man-scorpion is a mark of the Scorpius constellation = the spring. The chthonic goddess living near the water is the Proto-Indo-Aryan goddess indeed. The name Siduri comes from Proto-Indo-Aryan Si/Is/Su/Us du/di ri/li ‘The sun SKY is moving, driving in a car’ (= Ish-hara, Ara-li). The Mashu mountains are the integral symbol of the sun, cf. Proto-Indo-Aryan ma ‘sprout’, su ‘the sun’. The Sumerian poem “Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta” contains the word Almeda that in I.T. Kaneva’s (1964: 216) point of view is a certain temple in Aratta. I read this term as Al- (Ar-) me-da ‘Ara, the mother’. The Rig-Veda (V.43.6; VII.34.21) tells of Aramati, the Celestial Lady, seeking wealth. This name can be split into Ara mat-i ‘Ara, the mother’.
The Rig-Veda (I.117.2-3) contains an unclear passage about the sage Atri, whom the Five Tribes are honoured, and a chariot. I believe that it is an incorrect variant of the Proto-Indo-Aryan formula: (Ra-)to ri/li/ru/lu – 5 (pek) ‘(Ara)li – Panjab’.
In the Mesopotamian cosmology the name of the Aral(l)u mountain denotes ‘A house of the mountain of the dead’ (Albright 1920: 137). Really, Old Indian ru means not only ‘dividing’, but also ‘cutting’. The name of Harappa is preserved in the form Hariyupiya in the Rig-Veda (VI.27.5) (4).
Text 10 presented on two seals with representations of a bull and a zebu reads su ra ‘the sun; shine’. Text 11 reads: Mah- nera Ro-to su-ra ‘The great man of (the land on) the West (is placed near the image) of the sun’. Proto-Indo-Aryan nera means ‘man’, cf. Indo-European *ner- ‘man’. Proto-Indo-Aryan ro means ‘to bend; to disappear’, cf. Indo-European *rogo- ‘horn’ (< *ro/lo), *lonkos, *lordsko- ‘bend’ (< *ro/lo), Russian naklonyat’ ‘to bend’. This is a quite exact report about Lugalbanda once visited the Proto-Indo-Aryan earth. The Sumerian poem “Lugalbanda and the Mountain Hurrum” contains the following narration (Kramer 1959). Enmerkar, the king of Uruk, decided to visit Arrata. Lugalbanda was one of his warriors. During this trip Lugalbanda was ill. The warriors leave this hero alone on the mountain Hurrum, “on the mountain of the hashur tree”. The gods save Lugalbanda. Besides, a deity orders him to sacrifice a wild bull to the rising sun. Then gods command him to kill a kid. Lugalbanda carries out these orders. As R.S. Falkowitz (1983: 110) stresses, the hashur tree emphasises the cosmic nature of the spot as an axis mundi. In the other words, it is the World Tree, so that its name can be associated with Proto-Indo-Aryan su-ra ‘the sun’.
Let us consider the second group of records, see figure 2.
Text 1 reads Mera uha or Mela uha because of the variation of the sounds r/l in the Proto-Indo-Aryan language. The form Mela-uha ‘The powerful, strong lightning’ was registered as Melaha and Meluhha in the Sumerian and Akkadian languages. Proto-Indo-Aryan me-ra ‘lightning’ compares with Indo-European *mer- ‘to flicker’, *mel- ‘to hit; strong; big’, *me ‘big’, Old Indian megha ‘(rain) cloud’, Russian molniya ‘lightning’, molot’ ‘to mill’, molot ‘hammer’, razmelchat’ ‘to divide into particles’. Proto-Indo-Aryan uha ‘powerful; strong’ compares with Old Indian ugra ‘powerful, strong, mighty’ (< *uga/uha ra). This is the description of the thunderstorm indeed. The Sumerian poem “Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta” contains the expression Arattaki kur-me-sikil-la-ce. In my opinion, it signifies ‘Aratta, the land of the lightning’. Here Proto-Indo-Aryan me(-ra/la) ‘the lightning’ has the following translation: cf. Sumerian sikil ‘to be clean’.
Text 2 reads Men- Nu Mu-ra ‘The town (called) ‘The nine parts of the Universe – the Meeting, the Sacrifice’’. Text 3 reads Maha-to men- Mu-ra ‘The great town (called) ‘The Meeting, the Sacrifice’’. I suppose that here the name of Mohenjo-Daro is presented. Really, this town is called Narmini in the Rig-Veda (I.149.3) (5). Taking into account that the alternation of the sounds i/u is possible, I reconstruct this name as Proto-Indo-Aryan Nera Mi/Mu Ni/Nu ‘The person, name – place of meetings, sacrifices – the nine parts of the Universe’, cf. Old Indian muc ‘to leave; to sacrifice’, mura (< *mu ra) ‘swift; hurrying’, mil ‘to gather; to assemble’, mitra ‘friend’, Luwian muwattallii- ‘strong; powerful’, Hittite munnaai- ‘to hide’, mukawar- ‘praying’ (cf. also Phrygian kavar- ‘holy place’), Indo-European *meu ‘to move’, *mei ‘to change; to exchange’. On the other hand, Ur-Nammu, the first king of the Third Dynasty of Sumer, declared in a text from Ur that he restored trading along (?) the coast and in (a locality) which he calls Ki-mu and made return the boats of Magan to him (Oppenheim 1954: 14). I distinguish Sumerian ki ‘place; ground’ in the place name Ki-mu. Hence the Proto-Indo-Aryan name of the land is Mu ‘Mohenjo-Daro’. I also distinguish another name of this town, Narmara, in theRig-Veda (II.13.8). Notice that it comes from Proto-Indo-Aryan Nera Mera ‘The person, name – the Lightning (Melaha, Meluhha)’.
The Sumerian poem “Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta” contains the word Imimkarkarka associated with a bright dwelling that in I.T. Kaneva’s (1964: 215) point of view is the name of a temple or a palace in Aratta. I read this term as Proto-Indo-Aryan Mi-mi (im-im) ka-ra ka-ra ka ‘(The town called) ‘The Meeting’ – the growth, grain’. It is the variant of the name of Mohenjo-Daro. Let us study text 4: Ka-ka to, da to sa-nera, nu nu ‘The grain is added – a big weight (belonging to) a man (merchant) – all the parts of the Universe (a doubled construction)’. This record is performed on a copper plate from Mohenjo-Daro. Proto-Indo-Aryan ka or ga mean ‘grain; wheat’, cf. Old Indian kana ‘grain’, godhuma ‘wheat’.
Text 5 reads: Men- Nu Mu-ra A ‘The town (called) ‘The nine parts of the Universe – the Meeting, the Sacrifice – the Ancestor’’. Text 6 reads: A men- A, Vi-ra LIGHTNING (MERA) Me-ra MAN (NERA) ‘The town (called) ‘The great Ancestor’ = Mohenjo-Daro (near) the Indus river – the god-thunderer (the symbol of the Indus valley civilisation)’.
The late Indo-Aryans conquered the Harappan towns were indeed insurgent slaves and peasants of the same state. The Rig-Veda is a modernised version of the Proto-Indo-Aryan religious beliefs. The “new” Aryans won a battle near the Yavyavati river according to the Rig-Veda (VI.27.3-8). I suppose that it is the Indus river. The Proto-Indo-Aryan name Yavyavati can be split into such components: Ya (= a) vya (= va) vati ‘The Ancestor – the dwelling – the waters’. Proto-Indo-Aryan vi-ra is comparable with Old Indian viirya ‘strength’, vish ‘penetrate; enter’, vishala ‘large’. According to the Rig-Veda (IV.30.12), Vibali is the name of a river. I read it as Proto-Indo-Aryan Vi bal-i ‘The strong (river) moves’, cf. Old Indian bala ‘strength; power’. A similar name, Vispala (< *Vi-s-pala/bala), is also presented in the Rig-Veda (I.112.10).
I conclude that the word A ‘The ancestor’ presented in text 5 is another name of Mohenjo-Daro, and the word Vi(-ra) is name of the Indus river (cf. also the name of the Raviriver < *Ra vi).
Text 7 reads: Men- sa to DAY se di 4 men- 6 Mu-ra ‘The first town – the time of the gathering of crops – the clear days – the town of the six (rivers) – ‘The Meeting’’. Hence Mohenjo-Daro was the capital of the Proto-Indo-Aryan state. The six rivers include the five rivers of Panjab and the Sarasvati river. The Rig-Veda (I.117.8; X.65.12; VIII.3.12; V.81.5) contains the following similar names: Syava, Syavaka, Syavaska. They come from Proto-Indo-Aryan Sa va ‘The first wall, dwelling’ = ‘Mohenjo-Daro’. The names Rugama, Syavaka, Svarnara and Krpa are mentioned together in the Rig-Veda (VIII.3.12). I believe that they are the names of the towns of the Harappan region (Ru gama ‘Moving, Harrying’, cf. Ara Li/Lu/Ri/Ru), Mohenjo-Daro (Syavaka < Sa va; Svarnara < Sa va nera ‘The first dwelling MAN’), and Kalibangan (< *Kala be ‘the time of fertility’, literally Ka-ra be ‘the growth – fertility’). Perhaps, the full version of the last name was Ka-ra be maga ana ‘The time of fertility – much grain’. The names Syava and Kanva are presented together in the Rig-Veda (I.117.8). I suppose that they are designations of Mohenjo-Daro and Kalibangan. Besides, the Rig-Veda (VIII.25.22) contains the following names collected together: Uksanyaana, Harayana and Susaman. One can reconstruct the Pro-Indo-Aryan text: Uha (uga) sa na ana, (H)ara ana, Susa men- ‘(Mel)uhha – the grain; (the town) Harappa – the grain; (the town) Siswal (in the Sarasvati river basin)’. In the Rig-Veda (VII.96.1) the name Vasistha and the name of the Sarasvati river combine. The first name reads as Pro-Indo-Aryan Va sis- ta ‘The town of Siswal (India)’. According to the Rig-Veda (V.61.9-10), the locality Purumilha is near the path to the Syava. The place name, Purumilha, reads as Proto-Indo-Aryan Puru Mi-ra (H)a ‘The fortress ‘The Meeting, Sacrifice – the Ancestor’’ = ‘Mohenjo-Daro’. The form puru ‘fortress’ is comparable with Old Indian pur ‘town; fortress’. In this hymn the subjects/objects Vaidadasvi and Taranta are mentioned as well. I read the first name as Va Ya da-da s-Vi ‘The town (called) ‘Ancestor’ = Mohenjo-Daro (sends) many goods along the Indus river’. The second name reads Ta-ra-ta ‘The water – the connection – the water’ = ‘the port of Lothal’. In the Rig-Veda (VIII.57.10) the god-thunderer Indra is presented together with Purumayya. I reconstruct the latter name as Proto-Indo-Aryan *Puru Me- A ‘The town (called) ‘The Lightning (Melaha-Meluhha) – the Ancestor’’. It is another name of Mohenjo-Daro. In the Rig-Veda (I.183.5) the names Gotama, Purumilha and Atri are mentioned together. I suppose that they are pertinent to the towns of Lothal, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. The first form can be restored as *Ga/ka Ta men- ‘The grain/growth – the Water (Lothal) – the town’.
The name Puruhanman presented in the Rig-Veda (VIII.59.2) can be read as *Puru (h)a na men- ‘The town – The ancestor, abundance – the town’. It is the name of Mohenjo-Daro. The name Purupanthas presented in the Rig-Veda (VI.63.10) can be read as *Puru pa na ta-s- ‘The town – the copper/bronze – the abundance – the Water’. It is the name of Lothal.
Text 8 presented on a seal from Mohenjo-Daro reads: To pa-ra to, disa Pek- re-re ra ‘The copper (bronze?) is added. (It is) direction of the Five Rivers (= Panjab)’. Here the sign “bird” reads *pek- (cf. Old Indian paksin ‘bird’), and it is used for the designation of the number 5 (6). I suppose that Old Indian parsu- ‘iron’ comes from Proto-Indo-Aryan pa ra si/su ‘copper’ or ‘bronze’? (literally ‘made strong’), cf. also Sumerian zabar ‘alloy of copper’, simu(g) ‘smith’. It is known that main ancient pits with the copper ore were located on the territory of Afghanistan (Diakonoff 1983: 179). Proto-Indo-Aryan disa ‘direction’ is comparable with Old Indian dish ‘direction’.
Let us consider the third group of records, see figure 3.
Text 1 reads MOUNTAIN re-re ra ‘(It is) the mountain of the rain’. This record is inscribed on a fragment of a plate containing three lines from the town of Lothal. In the Sumerian poem “Enki and the World Order” the land of Meluhha is called kur gig ‘black mountain; black land’ (Kramer 1959; Kramer and Maier 1989).
Text 2 reads: DAY re MOUNTAIN re-re ra ‘(It is) the time of rains. (It is) the mountain of the rain’.
Text 3 reads: DI MOUNTAIN re-re ra ‘(It is) SKY the mountain of the rain’.
Text 4 reads: MERA re-re, ra-sa sa-rava (lava) se be ‘(It is) the Lightning (Melaha, Meluhha) of the rain – the connection – a ship with the gathered grain (swims)’. Proto-Indo-Aryan li/lu/ri/ru signifies ‘to move; chariot; to hurry; ship; to swim’. Using the rule of alternation of the sounds u/av, one can offer additional variants of this word, lava and rava. These words have following parallels. Akkadian hulukarnum ‘vehicle’ presented in some texts from Old Assyrian colonies in Asia Minor. I believe that it is a borrowing from an Indo-Arian (Mitannian?) dialect: *hu lu ka-ra nu ‘the life – the vehicle with grain – all the parts of the Universe = fast’. (It is reasonably safe to suggest that Akkadian narkabtum ‘chariot’ is a borrowing from the Proto-Indo-Aryan expression *ner ka be ‘a man/merchant with a big volume of grain’.) Hittite harawa- ‘road’ comes from the form rava (ru) ‘to move’. The same origin has Hittite aruna- ‘sea’. Hittite alalima- ‘offshoot (of a river)’ derives from the forms *ara li/lu/ri/ru ‘the sun, fertility, abundance – the movement’. Moreover, Tocharian olyi means ‘boat’.
Text 5 reads: MOON ro So-sa LAND MERA re ‘The month of the darkness – the soma juice (= the rains) – the land of the lightning and the rain’.
Text 6 reads: CULTIVATED SOIL maso rere da MERA-sa ‘The cultivated soil – the month of rains which gives lightnings’.
Text 7 reads: DI na, DAY re, Pi ra NERAVA Magan – “SKY the abundance – the time of rains, (the month) ‘The Increasing/Abundance’ (= March) – the connection with the town of Magan’. In this record the vernal equinox, rains and increasing heat are described. The name of Magan, an important agricultural and commercial centre, is mentioned, too. The text is accompanying by two drawings. First, there is a person killing a buffalo. Second, a bullfight is shown. In Y.V. Knorozov’s (1972: 218-219, 232) opinion, this bullfight may symbolise the thunderstorm. This statement is right. I suppose that the ritual of the killing of a bull was a sacrifice to stop rains and to gather the wheat in the hot season.
Since I equate the mysterious Magan and the real Kalibangan, one can observe its cultural features. The important data on the archaeological excavations in this town were obtained (Lal 1979; 1984). First of all, the altars for sacrifices of cattle were discovered. Moreover, special fire altars were found. I believe that such victims were necessary for ancient people to stop the rains. Then the fires were necessary to increase the heat. Thus, two kinds of the rituals were connected with the gathering of a rich crop.
Text 8 reads: Pu/Bu uha – nera, nera – se ‘The strong Soil – the people – the gathering (of the crop)’. This inscription is presented on a Proto-Indian seal (BM 123059) found somewhere in Iraq (Gadd 1932). A picture accompanying the record represents the bull mating with the cow. To understand this report it is necessary to note that according to Sumerian epic tale “Lugalbanda and Enmerkar” Lugalbanda once visited the land of Zabu. Here the Proto-Indo-Aryan bu ‘soil; ground’ is presented. Notice that the following words of the Sumerian poem “Enki and the World Order” refer to the land Meluhha = the Old India: “… May your bulls be large bulls, … may everything you have, [increase], May your people [multiply]…” (Kramer 1959; Kramer and Maier 1989). I think that this rite for fertility was borrowed by the Sumerians from the Proto-Indo-Aryans.
Let us consider the following inscription, see figure 4.
This record is written down on a tablet from Mohenjo-Daro: Ra-sa de Mera A. So, so, so, re. Na ku ra-sa, A so pek- so, ra-ra to, ra-sa so, so, so. Mera-to 7. So, so. Se Mera-ra ‘Now the god Mera – the Ancestor – (he appears). (There is) the third vessel for the soma juice (= the evening): it rains. (There are) many bulls, then (there is) the Ancestor – the vessel for the soma juice (= the morning), the bird, the second vessel for the soma juice (= the midday). The midday is added. Then (there is) the third vessel for the soma juice (= the evening). (The god-thunderer) Mera adds the 7th (month) (= the summer solstice). (There is) the second vessel for the soma juice (= the midday). (It is) the king Mera’. It is felt that the name Trisoka presented in the Rig-Veda (I.112.12) reads as Proto-Indo-Aryan tri so ka/ga ‘the third vessel for the soma juice – the grain’. I think that the Proto-Indo-Aryan myth was preserved in following lines of the Sumerian poem “Enki and the World Order”: “He procee[ded] to the land Meluhha, Enki, the king of the Abzu, [decrees] (its) fate: “Black land, may your trees be large trees, [may they be highland]-trees, [May] their thrones [fill] the royal palace, May your reeds be large reeds, [may they be highland]-reeds, May the heroes in the place of battle [wield their] weapons, May your bulls be large bulls, [may they be] highland bulls, [May] their cry [be] the cry [of highland] wild bulls, May the great me’s of the gods be per[fected for you], [May all dar-birds of the highland [wear carneli]an beards, [May] your bird be the Haia-bird, [M]ay its calls fill the royal palace, May your silver be gold, May your copper be tin (and) bronze, Land, may everything you have, [increase], May your people [multiply], May your … go forth like a bull to his …”” (Kramer 1959; Kramer and Maier 1989).
The Sumerian god Enki is equated with the Old Indian god Yama < the Proto-Indo-Aryan god Mera-A (Ya). Both deities are connected with water.
Let us consider the next group of records, see figure 5.
Text 1 reads: Re to-to-to-to Vi DI, da LAND ra ‘The greatest river (called) Vi SKY = the Indus river. The land gives (the crop)’.
The name Ophir is also presented in another part of the Bible (Genesis 10: 25-30). Eber had two sons, Peleg and Joktan. The descendants of the latter personage were the people of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. Their land was located from Mesha to Sephar in the eastern mount country. The two names, Ophir and Havilah, describe the Vi-ra (=Indus) river. The name Hadoram can be read as *Ha dara ‘The Ancestor = Mohenjo-Daro keeps’. The name of Mohenjo-Daro may be the calque of Proto-Indo-Aryan *maha-to Dara ‘The great Keeper’. The place name Mesha (Masse in Greek) corresponds to the Mashu mountains from Sumerian and Akkadian myths. The place name Sephar corresponds to the Sivalic mountains (India, Pakistan). The name Hazarmaveth is comparable with the name of the Sarasvati river. The root sar- ‘river; water’ can be distinguished in the name Uzal. The name Joktan (Ioktan) corresponds to the Ta (the Water), Lothal’s name. The first part of this name can be restore as *A ka/ga ‘the Ancestor – the tree/growth’. The name Eber corresponds to Proto-Indo-Aryan *pe/be ra (re?) ‘the abundance (the river?)’. The name Peleg corresponds to Proto-Indo-Aryan *pe/be re ‘the abundance – the river’. The name Almodad corresponds to the names Almeda and Aramati recognised above. I suppose that it is the name of Harappa. One can find the same base in the name Jerah (Ierah). The name Sheleph can be restored as Proto-Indo-Aryan *sa rava ‘ship’. The names Obal and Jobab can be associated with copper or bronze. The name Diklah (< *De kala, cf. the name Dekla in Greek) can correspond to Kalibangan (= Magan). In this case, the string of names Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael (< *A-Bi Me-ra), Sheba (< *se be) describes the town of Kalibangan on the Sarasvati (Ghaggara) river, the storehouse with the copper/bronze, the altars of the god-thunderer and the storehouse with the grain in this town. Sumerian urudu Maganki signifies ‘copper from Magan’ (Oppenheim 1954: 13). It is known that various copper and bronze objects were found in particular at Kalibangan (Lamberg-Karlovsky 1967: 151). So, in this biblical list the correct description of the Proto-Indian civilisation is offered.
In the Bible (Daniel 5: 25) the following sacred words are published: Mene, mene, tekel, uparsin. Perhaps, they are the late version of the Proto-Indo-Aryan formula: *Mene-mene Teke. Lu (= lava) parsi na ‘The great town of Teke (the Water = Lothal). The ship (swims) with the copper/bronze’. This question needs further consideration.
Text 2 reads: DAY re, Men- Ta da-to DI na, DAY 1, pu ku re-re ra ‘The time of rains, the town of Lothal (Ta = ‘The water’) gives goods, the first day, the Bull produces rains/rivers’. In the Rig-Veda (I.112.13) a person called Mandhatar is the owner of vast territories. I read this name as Proto-Indo-Aryan *Men da Ta ra ‘The town – the Water gives’ (Lothal).
Text 3 reads: Maha-to DI-na. Rava Men- Ta ‘(There are) many goods. The ship (swims to) Lothal’.
Text 4 inscribed on a plate from Lothal reads: Men- Ta. Sa-so 24 – 1 ‘The town of Lothal. 24 weights of the vessels for soma = 1 (weight)’. The Rig-Veda (I.59.7) tells of Purunitha, son of Satavani. Both names, Puru ni/nu ta ‘The fortress ‘All the parts of the Universe – the water’’ and Sa-ta va ni/nu ‘The water – the dwelling, fence – all the parts of the Universe’, can be the designations of Lothal.
Text 5 reads: Se ka de sara ra ‘The gathered grain from (the place) De-Sara’. The seal with this record was found in Ur (BM 120228) (Gadd 1932). The name De-Sara corresponds to the Sarasvati river, cf. also the place name Desalpur (Pakistan).
Let us consider the next group of records, see figure 6.
Text 1 reads: Na So-sa MOON Pu-ra ‘The abundance – (the god) Soma – the month ‘The earth/birth/increasing’ (March)’.
Text 2 reads: MOON Pi ra rava be-be ra ‘The month ‘The increasing’ (March), then (there is) the ship with the crop (in April)’. Text 3 reads: MERA-to rava be-be ra ‘The Lightning (= Meluhha) – (there is) the ship with the crop’. Text 4 reads: 3 maso ra-to rava LAND De-ra ‘The 3rd month, then the movement – the ship (swims) to the land of Dilmun’. Proto-Indo-Aryan rava, lava, ri, li, ru, lu mean ‘chariot; boat; to move; to swim’. In the Rig-Veda (VII.95.1) a car and the flood are related.
In the epic tale “Enmerkar and Ensuhkeshdanna” a place called E-zagin of Aratta is mentioned. It was associated with merchants and their ships. On the other hand, Inzak was the main deity of Dilmun (Cornwall 1946: 3). I insist that both names are the variants. The first name read (E)-sa-ka in/un/ni/nu ‘The growth in all the parts of the Universe; the fast growth’. The second name reads In/un/ni/nu sa-ka ‘ditto’. I conclude that Dilmun was a Proto-Indo-Aryan colony. The name of the god Inzak is relevant to the Proto-Indo-Aryan agriculture formula, Sa-ga/ka ku – Si/Su. The following kinds of wood exported from Dilmun to Mesopotamia are known from cuneiform texts: me-ra-ah-du, hu-lu-mu-um and a-ga-sum (Oppenheim 1954: 7). The term Merah-du can be restored as Mera (Mela) uha DI ‘The powerful lightning [Melaha-Meluhha] SKY’. This kind of wood means literally ‘(from) Melaha = the Old India’. The term hu-lu-mu-um can be compared with the name of the sacred mountain Hurrum of the Harappan civilisation, see above. The term a-ga-sum (< *A ka/ga su) means ‘the Ancestor – the tree/growth of the Sun’. Thus, all the kinds of wood were transported from the Indus valley to the Bahrein islands.
Let us study some names of kings of Dilmun (Oppenheim 1954: 16). They are Uperi and Hundaru. It should be pointed out that both names have a common final segment, Proto-Indo-Aryan ri/ru/rava ‘ship, boat; to swim; to move’. The first name contains Proto-Indo-Aryan va ‘dwelling; fence’ and be/pe ‘abundance; to increase’, and the second name contains Proto-Indo-Aryan hu ‘life; to live’, na ‘abundance; many’ and da ‘giving’. It is known the name of a merchant, I’idru, from this country (Oppenheim 1954: 17). Here I pick up the two Proto-Indo-Aryan roots: id/di ‘sky’ and ri/ru/rava ‘ship, boat; to swim; to move’. One can recognise the name of the king Rimum as well as the native name Agarum of this country (Cornwall 1946: 3). Both names also include Proto-Indo-Aryan ri/ru/rava ‘ship, boat; to swim; to move’. This king as well as the whole country (*Di-r-mu-n-, *De-r-mu-n-) could be connected with Mohenjo-Daro. On the other hand, the place name contains Proto-Indo-Aryan A ga/ka ‘The Ancestor – the tree/growth (the World Tree)’ = ‘The land of ancestors’. It may be deduced that all these persons were connected with trade.
In the Rig-Veda (I.112.11) the merchant Dirghasravas, Ausi’s son, is mentioned. The name Dirghasravas reads Dir ga/ka s-rava-s ‘(The land of) Dilmun – the growth/grain – the ship’ indeed. The name Ausi consists of Sumerian a-u ‘high water’ and Proto-Indo-Aryan Su/Si ‘Sumer’ < Sumerian Cumer ‘Sumer’. The name Kaksivan presented here can be read as Proto-Indo-Aryan ka-ka Si/Su va-‘the grain/growth for the land of Sumer’. In the Rig-Veda (VI.18.13) the names Kutsa (< *Ku to-sa), Ayu (< Sumerian a-u ‘high water’) and Turvayana (< *Ti-ra va ana ‘Dilmun’) combine. One can offer the reading of a pair of signs, LAND and “leaf” tu (‘Dilmun’?),which are presented in some Proto-Indian inscriptions. In the Rig-Veda (I.112.7) the names Purukutsa (< *Puru Ku to-sa) and Prsnigu (< *Pa-ra sa ni/nu ku) combine. Here I distinguish the names of the port of Balakot (Pakistan): Kutsa, Purukutsa and Prsnigu. All the names contain the form ku ‘bull; cow’. It is possible that this town was called for the bull deity. Let us examine horns painted on several vessels from Balakot (Dales 1974: 14-15, figure 10). I think that these symbols are specific emblem of this town. So, the Proto-Indo-Aryan story about trade contacts is preserved in these late hymns.
Let us consider the next group of records, see figure 7.
Text 1 reads: Men- maha ro ‘The town of the western earth’. One can assume that this is name of Mesopotamia (Sumer etc.). Text 2 reads: Su maha ro-sa Mera ‘The western earth (called) Sumer’. Text 3 reads: Pi maha ro ‘(The month) ‘the Increasing’ (March) – the western earth’. Text 4 reads: Supu maha ro-sa ‘The collected grain – the western earth’. Proto-Indo-Aryan supu ‘to gather or to pour grain; hot; to shine’ is comparable with Old Indian shubh ‘to shine’, suu ‘to bear’, suurya ‘the sun’, Nostratic *sup- ‘to fill’. Sumerian sub ‘to trip’ can be a borrowing from Proto-Indo-Aryan supu. Text 5 from Lothal reads: Maha ro Men- 3 re ‘The western earth – the town of three rivers’. In ancient times the Euphrates river had the three branches in its estuary. Text 6 reads: Maha ro 3 re ‘The western earth – the three rivers’. Text 7 reads: Maha ro sa-nera Ara ‘The western earth – a man (merchant) (from) Harappa = Arali, Aratta’.
In the Rig-Veda (X.95.2-17) the person by the name Pururavas is a benefactor. In the Rig-Veda (X.95.2-17) the names Pururavas and Urvasi are presented several times. The first name contains Proto-Indo-Aryan puru ‘town’ and rava ‘ship; to swim; to move’. It can be the designation of Proto-Indo-Aryan ports. The name Urvasi reads as Proto-Indo-Aryan Ur va Si/Su ‘Ur – the town, fence – Sumer’. The name Urvasi combines with the names Vasistha (< Va sis- ta; the town of Siswal?) and Agastya (<*A ka/ga s-Ta ‘The Ancestor – the tree/growth – The water’; the town of Lothal?) in the Rig-Veda (VII.33.10-11). Perhaps, in these terms the connections between the Sumerian town of Ur and several Proto-Indian towns are registered. The additional data (cf. the name Urjavya < *Ur va) are presented in the Rig-Veda (V.41.19-20). The names Puruvasu (< *Puru va Su) and Maghavan (< *Maga va ana) are united in the Rig-Veda (V.36.3). They are Sumer and Magan.
Text 8 reads: LAND Be ‘The land (called) Be’. Text 9 reads: Maha ro DI Be ‘The western earth – CELESTIAL (the Mountains called) Be’. I offer several meanings of this name. First of all, “the mountain Ebih”, a district north-east of Sumer, is known (Kramer 1961: 82). Then, the names of Magan, Meluhha, Gubi and Dilmun are mentioned together in a list as the sources from which wood of many kinds was brought to Lagash (Sumer) (Price 1923: 45). Moreover, the land of Gubi is known as Kuppi and Gubin, too (Oppenheim 1954: 17). Besides, the Hurrian land of Subartu (Sumerian Su-bir) was situated to north-east of the Tiger river. It is also known that Hurrians lived in the district of Habur (Wilhelm 1982). The Subur-Hamazi mountains were marked near Sumer. One can mention the name of the Sumerian god Enbilulu, the inspector of canals in the Tigris-Euphrates valley (Kramer 1959).
Text 10 reads: Be DI. Se Ku NERA ‘(The mountains of) Be. (It is) the king ‘The bull’’. This record accompanying by the figure of the bull is presented on a Proto-Indian seal from Ur (BM 122946) (Gadd 1932). It is quite possible that the land called Be is the territory of the Hurrians. In this instance, the king ‘The bull’ mentioned in this text is Kumarbi, the Hurrian god of fertility. Moreover, this name is quite Proto-Indo-Aryan, so the expression ku Mar bi mean ‘the bull [Mar-/Mer-] ‘The Lightning’ – (the) beating (deity)’. The name of the king of Aratta, Ensuhkeshdanna, includes Sumerian en ‘ruler-priest’ and Proto-Indio-Aryan da na ‘giving abundance’. On the other hand, a king of the Hurrian state Urkesh, Tish-atal, had the title endan in a document. The first part, en, is the Sumerian designation of a ruler (Wilhelm 1982). I believe that this Hurrian term unites the corresponding Sumerian and Proto-Indio-Aryan words. The god Lubadaga mentioned in the text of this Hurrian king is connected with the god Nergal (Nerigal). I reconstruct the name of Nerigal as Proto-Indo-Aryan Nera Ri/Li/Ru/Lu ‘The man ‘The Cutting’’ with the Sumerian epithet gal ‘great’. It is the early Indo-Aryan god Rudra. In this case, the name Lubadaga reads Lu/Ru/Li/Ri ba da ga/ka ‘The cutting bronze (sword) – (the god) giving the growth/grain (= great)’. It is a variant of the name of Nerigal. G. Wilhelm (1982) stresses that the transfer of statues of deities into a sacred grove is a Hurrian rite. It is known also that Tushratta, a king of the Hurrian state Mitanni, built a mausoleum (?) (karask-) for his grandfather. I reconstruct this term as Proto-Indo-Aryan ka ra sa-ka ‘the World Tree’. Actually, it is the symbol of the sacred grove. If my conclusion is correct, one can believe that the Indo-Aryan groups existed in these territories originated from the Proto-Indo-Aryans. This writer (Rjabchikov 2006b) has investigated different materials about the early Indo-Europeans.
Let us consider the following seal, see figure 8.
The text reads: NERA de-de ra to DI ra (NERA) ‘The great god (called) ‘The second position of the sun, SKY the (third) position of the sun’’. Here the god Mera is represented. It is the designation of the bright sun. Two calves of deer represented under the throne symbolise the morning and the evening. The four animals symbolise the cardinal points: the tiger denotes the winter solstice, the elephant denotes the vernal equinox, the rhinoceros denotes the summer solstice, the buffalo (bull) denotes the autumnal equinox.
Let us consider the last group of records, see figure 9.
Text 1 reads: Me-MERA-ra ‘The Lightning’. Here the ideogram MERA resembles the picture of the supreme god-thunderer represented in figure 8.
Text 2 reads: Nu de-to Rava A ‘All the conditions of the Universe – the great god ‘The ship – Ancestor’’. In two Minoan (Indo-Aryan) inscriptions of Linear A (HT 86, HT 95) the names Di Deru and Herau (Harawa) are written one by one. It can be inferred that they are relevant to the god-thunderer associated with the Bahrein islands and to the sacred ship (Rjabchikov 2006b: 62). The early Minoan state of Crete was a Proto-Indo-Aryan colony. Such texts indicate that the trade promoted migration processes in ancient times. Hence different groups of the early Indo-Europeans could be dispersed on vast territories. The Proto-Indo-Aryan sign “earth divided into 9 parts” reads nu/nava.
Text 3 reads: De DI na BRIGHT SUN Vise ‘The god ‘SKY the abundance – the midday – Vise’’. The Proto-Indo-Aryan god Vise (literally ‘The many motions, steps etc.’) is the early image of the Indo-Aryan god Visnu (< *Vi-s-nu/ni/un/in).
Text 4 reads: Ra-ra – Maso de Maha, maha, maha Vi ‘The path of the sun – the month of Vi (= Visnu), the deity of the three parts of the earth’.
Text 5 reads: Be, be, be, so, so, so, so, so, so, MERA, so ra NERA ‘The abundance, seven vessels of the soma juice of the Lightning connected with mankind’. According to the Rig-Veda (III.4.7), the seven characters drink the soma juice. In the Indo-Aryan beliefs this drink is connected with the god-thunderer (Toporov 1992: 257).
Text 6 reads: MERA-to 7 Pi ra ‘The great lightning – the 7th (month) – the increasing’.
Text 7 reads: DAY 3, re, ro ‘The third position of sun on the heaven = the evening, the darkness/rain, the sunset’. As a parallel one can offer Old Indian ratri ‘night; darkness of night’ < *ra tri ‘the third position, connection’.
Text 8 reads: WIND ro-to, se-se ‘The wind – the west, the south = the south-west wind (monsoon)’. This text is accompanying by the figure of a goddess and the horns of a goat. I suppose that these designs are the symbols of fertility. Interestingly, the goddess Aramati and the god Pusan incarnated in the goat are mentioned together in the Rig-Veda (VII.36.8).
1. I use the meanings of the reconstructed Nostratic and Indo-European forms, see Illich-Svitych 1967; Pokorny 1949; 1959.
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