Indus Script

Fun article in The Verge about deciphering Indus Script using statistical methods. I used to play with this stuff with the Voynich manuscript. But that text is sort of a honeypot, a largely irrelevant medieval European one-off, and quite possibly a hoax. Indus Script matters, there’s thousands of unreadable objects with Indus writing on it. The Harappan civilization is important to human history and so little is known about it.

Mostly I just wanted to make a note that Indus Script was proposed for Unicode in 1999. About 250 code points. It’s still pending.



One thought on “Indus Script

  1. Wow, that’s really interesting, I had no idea it was so poorly understood. It’s weird that even in fairly detailed articles like this, in which the problem of language identification is directly brought up, no writer can resist trotting out the Rosetta stone. But the Rosetta stone itself didn’t decipher the hieroglyphs. Thomas Young and other smart people made a bit of progress but didn’t get very far, stone in hand. Champollion knew Coptic and recognized it was a descendant of the language written in the hieroglyphs. The language id ended up being the fundamental breakthrough.

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