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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The discussions will help me to improve the Jaffna library service. It is an unsolved problem. They unlocked a world, unlocked an imagination of a past, a vision that would spur me on take up history and archaeology as both formal disciplines of study, and a life-long pursuit. Terms Privacy About Us Subscribe.

Papers on the Indus Script by Dr. Iravatham Mahadevan

Like many who have made a career out of the study of ancient India, I will fondly remember him as a man who made a large contribution to a key foundation stone in this edifice — through the study of epigraphy.

They will remain so for decades to come. Ramanujam Reading Room is available to scholars searching for information and also for printing.

As in all his work, his essentially rational approach was impressive. Sivaramamurti, the director of the museum, took him under his wing and encouraged him to begin working on all kinds of ancient epigraphs. He lived to hear many people finally admit that he was right after all, that there was no more questioning the facts, his facts. The work that is being done in cataloguing and preserving materials is of a high order.

If there was one salve, it was that he died after a long-term archaeological and genetic study proved — as conclusively as these mahadeevan can be proved — that the people of the Indus Valley were indeed Dravidian, were Tamil. We disagreed on lots of issues such as a supposed Aryan influx into India after the decline of the Indus iravatahm, and whether there was a Dravidian language encoded in the Indus script, as he believed.


Gradually he arrived at an interesting linguistic relationship where he argued that the Harappans were Dravidian speakers with their own distinctive culture and religion.

He inspired without needing anything more than his work and the truth it spoke.

He was instrumental in firmly establishing the view of K. Sivaramamurti initiated him into the basics of South Indian epigraphy. An encyclopedia of the Indus script.

A tribute to Iravatham Mahadevan, the man who first argued that Indus script was Tamil. Thanking you and your staff. I travelled across Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, looking for early inscriptions. The presence of the later Indo-Aryan speakers led to some degree of cultural and religious inter-connections that are apparent in the sources of the post-Harappan period. The future of this collection is in good hands. The work on deciphering the Indus script was a far more complicated study on which maharevan spent half a century.

Subrahmanya Aiyer that the writings found in the caves of Tamil Nadu in a script similar to Brahmi are a variant of Brahmi, which Mahadevan calls Tamil Brahmi, and in ascertaining that the language of the script is indeed Tamil. Views expressed are the author’s own.

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

iravatgam I have had a very enriching experience looking at the collection and the way it is preserved. 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. Interview with Iravatham Mahadevan”. The News Minute newsletter Sign up to get handpicked news and features sent to your inbox.

What was truly amazing was that he was professionally so good as an administrator and yet, at the same time, was acknowledged as a scholar of a dimension that many of the best scholars would envy. The second was the decipherment of the pictograms from the Indus Civilisation, based on the seals in the main, and found in large numbers at Indus sites — what is often called the Indus script.


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. If Mick Aston was a mentor, so was Iravatham Mahadevan.

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

It was his research which allowed me to glibly dismiss any claims to classic status by any other language. A Megalithic Pottery Inscription and a Harappa tablet. This work irxvatham now a classic in Harappan studies. Kosambi to Classical Tamil.

He even went on to identify one of the signs as signifying Meluhha. Wish you all the very best. There is a model here which I hope will be emulated elsewhere. Retrieved 4 July Murukan in the Indus script For these works arose from several decades of unswerving commitment to explore the unknown and make it intelligible. His main interests were iravztham.

Skip to main content. According to an interview given to an e-journal VaralaaruMahadevan revealed that he started researching the Tamil-Brahmi script following a casual suggestion by Indian historian K. Mahasevan bureaucrat who took early retirement to focus on his hobby in epigraphy, he wrote two magisterial books, “The Indus Script” and “Early Tamil Epigraphy”.

Retrieved 10 October