Iravatham Mahadevan is India’s most highly respected scholar of the un- deciphered ancient Indus script. Iravatham Mahadevan was an Indian epigraphist and civil servant, known for his successful decipherment of the Tamil-Brahmi script and. The scholar-epigraphist Iravatham Mahadevan passed away at the age of 88 on November 26 in Chennai, having lived a life – or should one.

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When I met him in January in Chennai, he recounted that in Delhi, his official work in the ministry that he was attached to used to get over rather quickly and by late morning, he had nothing to do. He realised that there was a need for an up-to-date concordance of all the symbols, so he spent some years preparing this.

If Mick Aston was a mentor, so was Iravatham Mahadevan. The news that I had a copy spread quickly and I was inundated with callers asking to borrow the book.

Thanking you and your staff. The News Minute newsletter Sign up to get handpicked news and features sent to your inbox. Retrieved 4 July What do we know about the Indus script?

Remembering Iravatham Mahadevan

My thanks to the team at the library for the excellent tour and kind hospitality during my visit. Two interests His main interests were mahadvean.

Behind every symbol Iravatham Mahadevan presented, and the many he deciphered and interpreted, I could imagine a story — an existence, a way of life, a truth. But they were, significantly, the earliest written records in Tamil, dating to a couple of centuries before the Christian Era and continuing for a few centuries.


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Papers on the Indus Script by Dr. Iravatham Mahadevan | Roja Muthiah Research Library

Giving us not just history, but narrative. As he told me, he was not a Marxist but mahaddvan a great admirer of Kosambi. Support Feel the pride in being part of us — Contribute to save a book or an activity Click here. This article is closed for comments. Interpreting the Indus Script: This has been at the back of everything I have done since then.

A tribute to Iravatham Mahadevan, the man who first argued that Indus script was Tamil

They had names of people and recorded small gifts. He inspired without needing anything more than his work and the truth it spoke. Roja Muthiah Research Library. So, he would amble down Janpath to the National Museum, where C.

Remembering Iravatham Mahadevan – The Hindu

We disagreed on lots of issues such as a supposed Aryan influx into India after the decline of the Indus civilisation, and whether there was a Dravidian language encoded in the Indus script, as he believed. They will remain so for decades to come. Deciphering the Indus script The work on deciphering the Indus script was a far more complicated study on which he spent half a century.


He published the corpus with readings and annotations in but the major volume was published as Early Tamil Epigraphy from the Earliest Times to the Sixth Century A. Agastya legend and the Indus civilization After obtaining an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Vivekananda College in Chennai and a law degree from Madras Law College, he joined the IAS in and remained in service for twenty-seven years, before taking voluntary retirement in On a personal note, he was appalled when I became a babu at the University of Delhi for a few years and urged me to get back to my academic work as soon as possible.

With its East-West cities where the walls never need be thick enough to ward off invaders, because peace and equality were taken for granted.

This is an amazing place so little is known of the fantastic work being done here. Retrieved 10 October My first acquaintance with Epigraphy was in the early months ofwhen as student of ancient Indian History at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, I was introduced to the Maurya and Satavahana Brahmi scripts in a course that Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya had offered.

His absence from our midst will be felt for years to come.