Harappa Script in Ahar-Banas, Ancient Near East signifies Vedic culture & metalwork of Chalcolithic Age transiting to Bronze Age

Mirror: http://tinyurl.com/j4exatr

Gregory L. Possehl, Vasant Shinde and Marta Ameri, 2004, The Ahar-Banas Complex and BMAC in: Man and Environment, XXIX (2):18-29: Abstract. This paper discusses the most recent discovery of more than hundred clay seals of the end of third and the beginning of second millennium BCE period in the excavations at Gilund in Rajasthan District of Mewar, Rajasthan and their significance in the long-distance trade links of the Chalcolithic people of Mewar in Central India. These clay seals are unbaked and impressed with sun and a variety of floral motifs. This is the only Chalcolithic site in India outside the Harappan domain producing evidence of impresses seals. Seals impressed with similar motifs have been reported from a number of sites of Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC) that flourished in Afghanistan and Central Asia. It is therefore proposed that there was interaction between the Chalcolithic people of Mewar and their contemporaries in Afghanistan and Central Asia. It is obvious the Harappans played significant role as intermediaries in this interaction. This discovery, the first of its kind in the Chalcolithic levels in India, has far reaching implications on Indian History of the third and second millennium BCE. https://www.academia.edu/766089/The_Ahar-Banas_Complex_and_the_BMAC

Far-reaching indeed. This monograph carries the insights forward and establishes the cultural links of both areas with Veda culture and deciphers many Harappa Script hypertexts of both areas as metalwork of Bronze Age in transit from Chaocolithic Age. The sun motif of Gilund is Harappa Script Meluhha hieroglyph: arka ‘sun’ rebus: arka ‘gold, copper’.ahar-banas

Metaphors and hieroglyphs of ancient Bharatam related to the following are discussed in this monograph in the context of Harappa Script parallels in Ahar-Banas culture and Bactria Margiana Cultural Complex (BMAC) of the Bronze Age with the conclusion that the parallels are 1. Vedic culture continuum and 2.Meluhha metalwork rebus representations:


Image result for gonurAt the site of Gonur (BMAC), a remarkable Harappa Script seal was discovered.ahar4Ahar-Banas, in relation to Ganeshwar-Jodhpur, Maturre Harappan sites

Image result for gonur sealAncient Copper/Bronze Seal from Bactria. करडी (p. 78) karaḍī f (See करडई) Safflower: also its seed. करडेल (p. 78) karaḍēla n (करडई & तेल) Oil of Carthamus or safflower. करडई (p. 78) karaḍī f Safflower, Carthamus. 2 Its seed.rebus:  करडा (p. 78) karaḍā Hard from alloy–iron, silver &c.

Image result for gonur sealThis evidence of a seal indicating possible contact with Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization is reinforced by the links demonstrated between BMAC and Ahar-Banas cultures in this monograph. (karabha ‘elephant’ rebus: karba ‘iron’).

  1. श्येन śyēna is a Veda metaphor related to yajna, soma yaga in particular. RV 1.80.2 refers to Soma as s’yenAbhRta (brought by s’yena). A variant of this veda tradition occurs as senmurw (< s’yenamRga) in Iran with Harappa Script ligatured hieroglyphs of jackal or peacock to signify, respectively, kol ‘working in iron’ and  marakaka loha ‘copper alloy, calcining metal’ .śyēná brings Soma (RV I.80.2)rv1802Translation (Griffith): 1. THUS in the Soma, in wild joy the Brahman hath exalted thee: Thou, mightiest thunder-armed, hast driven by force the Dragon from the earth, lauding thine own imperial sway.
    2 The mighty flowing Soma-draught, brought by the Hawk, hath gladdened thee,
    That in thy strength, O Thunderer, thou hast struck down Vṛtra from the floods, lauding thine own imperial sway.
  2. Rudra is a Veda metaphor related to Skambha Sukta of AV (X.7,8) as a fiery pillar topped by  caṣāla, godhuma ‘wheat chaff’ carburization of soft metal to be infused with carbon to render the alloy metal hard. The octagoal shape of the pillar, Yupa is a tradition which is continued in the aniconic lingas and later ekamukha linga in association with a smelter as seen in a Bhuteshvar sculptural frieze.Image result for bhuteshwar linga
  3. The compartmented seals of BMAC compare with seals found in Ahar-Banas culture of Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization. The dominant hieroglyphs of .svastika and dottd circles are deciphered, respectively, as Meluhha Harappa Script rebus readings: jasta ‘zinc’ and dhatu ‘mineral ore’.


    On svastika as Meluhha hieroglyph: see: https://www.academia.edu/15277151/Svastika_Indus_Script_hieroglyph_multiplex_hypertext_zinc_spelter_pewter_alloy sattiya ‘svastika’ rebus: sattva, jasta ‘zinc, pewter’.

    Following notes point to the essential similarity between Ahar-Banas artifacts and the finds from other sites of Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization. In particular, the seal showing a + shaped fire-altar may be explained as a Vedi. Similar hieroglyphs occur on Indus Script Corpora, for example the following:


    Kot Diji type seals with concentric circles from (a,b) Taraqai Qila (Trq-2 &3, after CISI 2: 414), (c,d) Harappa(H-638 after CISI 2: 304, H-1535   after CISI 3.1:211), and (e) Mohenjo-daro (M-1259, aftr CISI 2: 158). (From Fig. 7 Parpola, 2013).

    ahar3Distribution of geometrical seals in Greater Indus Valley during the early and *Mature Harappan periods (c. 3000 – 2000 BCE). After Uesugi 2011, Development of the Inter-regional interaction system in the Indus valley and beyond: a hypothetical view towards the formation of the urban society’ in: Cultural relations between the Indus and the Iranian plateau during the 3rd millennium BCE, ed. Toshiki Osada & Michael Witzel. Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora 7. Pp. 359-380. Cambridge, MA: Dept of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University: fig.7.

    I suggest that the ‘dotted circle’ signifies on Indus Script corpora: ḍāv ʻdice-throwʼ Rebus: dhāu ‘ore’.See: http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.in/2015/11/evolution-of-brahmi-script-syllables.html?view=sidebar

    Evolution of Brahmi script syllables ḍha-, dha- from Indus Script. Ur cylinder seal, Harappa tablet with 5 svastika deciphered. Evolution of Brahmi script syllables ḍha-, dha- traced from Indus Script hieroglyph dotted circle, dām ‘rope (single strand or string?)’, dã̄u ʻtyingʼ, ḍāv m. ʻdice-throwʼ rebus: dhāu ‘ore’

    Brahmi script syllables ḍha-, dha- are derived from Indus Script hieroglyphs: dhāv ‘string, dotted circle’ rebus: dhāu‘ore’

    Button seal. Harappa. Fired steatite button seal with four concentric circle designs discovered at Harappa.  Sibri cylinder seal with Indus writing hieroglyphs: notches, zebu, tiger, scorpion?. Each dot on the corner of the + glyph and the short numeral strokes on a cylinder seal of Sibri, may denote a notch: खांडा [ khāṇḍā ] m  A jag, notch, or indentation (as upon the edge of a tool or weapon). (Marathi) Rebus: khāṇḍā ‘tools, pots and pans, metal-ware’.

    m0352 cdef

    The + glyph of Sibri evidence is comparable to the large-sized ‘dot’, dotted circles and + glyph shown on this Mohenjo-daro seal m0352 with dotted circles repeated on 5 sides A to F. Mohenjo-daro Seal m0352 shows dotted circles in the four corners of a fire-altar and at the centre of the altar together with four raised ‘bun’ ingot-type rounded features.

    Rebus readings of m0352 hieroglyphs:

      dhātu ‘layer, strand’; dhāv ‘strand, string’ Rebus: dhāu, dhātu ‘ore’

    1. Round dot like a blob — . Glyph: raised large-sized dot — (gōṭī ‘round pebble);goTa ‘laterite (ferrite ore)
    2. Dotted circle khaṇḍa ‘A piece, bit, fragment, portion’; kandi ‘bead’;
    3. A + shaped structure where the glyphs  1 and 2 are infixed.  The + shaped structure is kaṇḍ ‘a fire-altar’ (which is associated with glyphs 1 and 2)..

    Rebus readings are: 1. khoṭ m. ʻalloyʼgoTa ‘laterite (ferrite ore); 2. khaṇḍā ‘tools, pots and pans and metal-ware’; 3. kaṇḍ ‘furnace, fire-altar, consecrated fire’.

    Four ‘round spot’; glyphs around the ‘dotted circle’ in the center of the composition: gōṭī  ‘round pebble; Rebus 1: goTa ‘laterite (ferrite ore); Rebus 2:L. khoṭf ʻalloy, impurityʼ, °ṭā ʻalloyedʼ, awāṇ. khoṭā  ʻforgedʼ; P. khoṭ m. ʻbase, alloyʼ  M.khoṭā  ʻalloyedʼ (CDIAL 3931) Rebus 3: kōṭhī ] f (कोष्ट S) A granary, garner, storehouse, warehouse, treasury, factory, bank. khoṭā ʻalloyedʼ metal is produced from kaṇḍ ‘furnace, fire-altar’ yielding khaṇḍā ‘tools, pots and pans and metal-ware’. This word khaṇḍā is denoted by the dotted circles.

श्येन śyēna of Rigveda and senmurw of Iran

Meluhha language links to Indo-Iranian Senmurw, श्येन śyēna, शेन ‘hawk’ are matched by the parallel hypertexts/hieroglyphs between Harappa Script and BMAC artifacts signifying similar hypertexts/hieroglyphs (e.g. svastika, dotted circle, eagle with spread wings, fire-altar in + shape). The metaphors can be traced to Rigveda श्येन śyēna, ‘hawk’, given the conclusive chronology of Avestan tradition derived from Rigveda. See: N. Kazanas, 2011: Vedic and Avestan  http://www.omilosmeleton.gr/pdf/en/indology/Vedic_and_Avestan.pdf

Tocharian ancu ‘iron’ is cognate with amśu, ‘soma’ (Rigveda). See: Georges-Jean Pinault, 2006Further links between the IndoIranian substratum in: Bertil Tikkanen & Heinrich Hettrich (eds.), 2006, Themes and Tasks in Old and Middle Indo-Aryan Linguistics, Delhi : Motilal Banarsidas Publishers. The ancu- amśu is paralleled by the imagery and metaphors of  śyena cognate simurw in Rigveda and Avestan (Sogdian) traditions, respectively. The links also point to the importance of Bronze Age metalwork which necessitated cross-cultural trade and interactions across Eurasia, say between Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization and Tocharian-speaking Mushtagh Ata and Rigveda  śyena-citi and simurv orthography of Sogdian Samarkand. Sogdia (/ˈsɔːɡdiə, ˈsɒɡ-/Old PersianSuguda-, صُتْ, New Persian: سُغْد, soghd) or Sogdiana (/ˌsɔːɡdiˈænə, ˌsɒɡ-/) was the ancient Indo-Europeancivilization of an Iranian people that at different times included territory located in present-day Tajikistan and Uzbekistan such as: SamarkandBukharaKhujand,  Panjikent and Shahrisabz. Sogdiana was also a province of the Achaemenid Empire, eighteenth in the list on the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great (i. 16). In the AvestaSogdiana is listed as the second best land that the supreme deity Ahura Mazda had created. (“Introductory Note,” in Guitty Azarpay, Sogdian Painting: the Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, pp 2–3, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sogdia)

मूजवत्m. N. of a mountain VS. [p= 825,3]pl. N. of a people AV. S3Br. The mountain i perhaps a Himalayan peak of Xinjiang called Mushtagh Ata.

Soma is brought from Mujavat (perhaps Tocharian region, Himalayan mountain called Muthtagh Ata) by a Syena (RV I.80.2).श्येन śyēna m. a hawk , falcon , eagle , any bird of prey (esp. the eagle that brings down सोम to man) RV. &c; firewood laid in the shape of an eagle Sulbas.; (with or without इन्द्रश्य) N. of a सामन् A1rshBr. La1t2y.


The wings of senmurv: eraka ‘wing’ rebus: erako ‘moltencast’ arka ‘gold, copper’ kammaṭ a ‘wing’ rebus: kammaṭ a ‘mint, coiner, coinage’.

śyēná m. ʻ hawk, falcon, eagle ʼ RV. Pa. sēna — , °aka — m. ʻ hawk ʼ, Pk. sēṇa — m.; WPah.bhad. śeṇ ʻ kite ʼ; A. xen ʻ falcon, hawk ʼ, Or. seṇā, H. sen, sẽ m., M. śen m., śenī f. (< MIA. *senna — ); Si. sen ʻ falcon, eagle, kite ʼ.(CDIAL 12674) Rebus: sena, heṇa ʻ thunderbolt: aśáni f. ʻ thunderbolt ʼ RV., °nī — f. ŚBr. [Cf. áśan — m. ʻ sling — stone ʼ RV.]
Pa. asanī — f. ʻ thunderbolt, lightning ʼ, asana — n. ʻ stone ʼ; Pk. asaṇi — m.f. ʻ thunderbolt ʼ; Ash. ašĩˊ ʻ hail ʼ, Wg. ašē˜ˊ, Pr. īšĩ, Bashg. “azhir“, Dm. ašin, Paš. ášen, Shum. äˊšin, Gaw. išín, Bshk. ašun, Savi išin, Phal. ã̄šun, L. (Jukes) ahin, awāṇ. &circmacrepsilon;n (both with n, not ), P. āhiṇ, f., āhaṇ, aihaṇ m.f., WPah. bhad. ã̄ṇ, bhal. ´tildemacrepsilon;hiṇi f., N. asino, pl. °nā; Si. sena, heṇa ʻ thunderbolt ʼ Geiger GS 34, but the expected form would be *ā̤n; — Sh. aĩyĕˊr f. ʻ hail ʼ (X ?). — For ʻ stone ʼ > ʻ hailstone ʼ cf. upala — and A. xil s.v. śilāˊ — .(CDIAL 910).

Image result for Senmurv on the tomb of Abbess Theodote, Pavia early 8th c.A fragment of textile covering the relics of St.. Siviarda Byzantium, 11th cent.

Zwei Senmurv-Protome einander gegenübergestellt, dazwischen Tamga; baktrische Aufschrift „Pangul, seine Majestät, der Lord“ 7./8. Jh.: Two Senmurv protomes, and Tanga between them; Bactric inscription “Pangu, his Majesty, the Lord” 7./8. Centurysenmurv2Senmurw on a silver plate. Iran, 7th cent. Source: https://www.pinterest.com/theofrastus/simurgh-senmurv/

senmurv1Senmurv on plate.

Image result for Senmurv on the tomb of Abbess Theodote, Pavia early 8th c.Silk fragment with a senmurv Iran or Central Asia 700–800

Image result for syena kalyanaraman Brahmaputra river valley can relate to the remarkable fire-altar discovered in Uttarakashi: Syena-citi.“The ancient site at Purola is located on the left bank of river Kamal in District Uttarkashi. The excavation carried out by Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna University, Srinagar Garhwal. The site yielded the remains of Painted Grey Ware (PGW) from the earliest level along with other associated materials include terracotta figurines, beads, potter-stamp and the dental and femur portions of domesticated horse (Equas Cabalus Linn). The most important finding from the site is a brick alter identified as Syena chiti by the excavator. The structure is in the shape of a flying eagle Garuda, head facing east with outstretched wings having a square chamber in the middle yielded the remains of pottery assignable to circa first century B.C. to second century AD along with copper coin of Kuninda , bone pieces and a thin gold leaf impressed with a human figure identified as Agni.” http://www.asidehraduncircle.in/excavation.html

The first layer of a Vakrapaksa‐syena altar. The wings are made from 60 bricks of type “a,” and the body, head and tail from 50 type “b,” 6 of type “c” and 24 type “d” bricks. Each subsequent layer was laid out using different patterns of bricks with the total number of bricks equaling 200.“Sênmurw (Pahlavi), Sîna-Mrû (Pâzand), a fabulous, mythical bird. The name derives from Avestan mərəγô saênô ‘the bird Saêna’, originally a raptor, either eagle or falcon, as can be deduced from the etymologically identical Sanskrit śyena.”senmurvSenmurv on the tomb of Abbess Theodote, Pavia early 8th c. “Griffin-like .Simurgh (Persian: سیمرغ), also spelled simorgh, simurg, simoorg or simourv, also known as Angha (Persian: عنقا), is the modern Persian name for a fabulous, benevolent, mythical flying creature. The figure can be found in all periods of Greater Iranian art and literature, and is evident also in the iconography of medieval Armenia, the Byzantine empire , and other regions that were within the sphere of Persian cultural influence. Through cultural assimilation the Simurgh was introduced to the Arabic-speaking world, where the concept was conflated with other Arabic mythical birds such as the Ghoghnus, a bird having some mythical relation with the date palm, and further developed as the Rukh (the origin of the English word “Roc”).”http://www.flickr.com/photos/27305838@N04/4830444236/

See: http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/simorg

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simurgh

Sassanid silk twill textile of a simurgh in a beaded surround, 6-7th c. CE

“The simurgh was considered to purify the land and waters and hence bestow fertility. The creature represented the union between the earth and the sky, serving as mediator and messenger between the two. The simurgh roosted in Gaokerena, the Hōm (Avestan: Haoma) Tree of Life, which stands in the middle of the world sea Vourukhasa. The plant is potent medicine, is called all-healing, and the seeds of all plants are deposited on it. When the simurgh took flight, the leaves of the tree of life shook making all the seeds of every plant to fall out. These seeds floated around the world on the winds of Vayu-Vata and the rains of Tishtrya, in cosmology taking root to become every type of plant that ever lived, and curing all the illnesses of mankind. The relationship between the simurgh and Hōm is extremely close. Like the simurgh, Hōm is represented as a bird, a messenger and as the essence of purity that can heal any illness or wound. Hōm – appointed as the first priest – is the essence of divinity, a property it shares with the simurgh. The Hōm is in addition the vehicle of farr(ah) (MP: khwarrah, Avestan: khvarenah, kavaēm kharēno) “[divine] glory” or “fortune”. Farrah in turn represents the divine mandate that was the foundation of a king’s authority.”

Archaeology in the landscapes of ancient Sogd has furnished us with a great amount of works of art, mainly from the early Middle Ages. Of highest value are the wall paintings from a palace hall (object 23, room 1) of the Sogdian ruler Varxuman at Samarqand (Afrasiab site)…

The western wall is the most important one in room 23/1 due to its position opposite the entrance. This feature seems to be common in Sogdian architectural layouts both of private main halls and palace throne rooms.

Who is figure no. 4 of the western wall? (page II)

The following proposal for an identification of figure 4 is certainly only an attempt. As we have seen, group A2 of delegates seems to belong to nations of the west. A second hint comes from the clothes of figure 4. The delicate ornamentation depicts fabulous beasts known as “Senmurvs”. Look below:

Left: The Senmurvs are set into an overall pattern of curved rhomboids.

Right: Close-up of the garment of figure 4

Originally more than hundred human figures must have been depicted on the walls of our room. Many of these persons are dressed with richly ornamented and multicoloured clothes. But it seems noteworthy that the Senmurv is, in contrary to other patterns, only to meet with figure 4 on the western wall.

The reason for that must be the symbolic nature of the Senmurv. Speaking of this creature we concentrate only on the “dog-peackock” as depicted on the Afrasiab murals. Doubtless it originates from Iranian symbolism. The most spectacular examples can be seen on the late Sasanian rock reliefs of Taq-e Bustan (Iran):

Left: Senmurvs as pattern on the caftan of a Sasanian king, Taq-e Bustan, Great Ivan, left wall.

Right: Senmurv in medaillon on the clothes of the heavy-armoured rider, Taq-e Bustan, Geat Ivan.
Comparing these images with the Senmurvs from Afrasiab we notice a striking similarity.

Apparently the Senmurv in Sasanian iconography was a symbol with intimate connection to kingship. Images concentrate on representations of royal persons and on royal silverware. Only in post-Sasanian times, when dynastic restrictions were lost, the Senmurv spread wide as a merely ornamental motif on Near and Middle Eastern textiles, metalwork, and so on.

Concerning the Afrasiab murals we have a general date within the limits of the Sasanian dynasty (i.e., before 652), as we have tried to explain on another page.

Therefore, if the Senmurv (i.e., the “dog-peacock”!) was a Sasanian royal emblem, his appearance on the Afrasiab murals should point to the same symbolic value. In other words: The “owner” of the symbol should represent a Sasanian king.


Wall panel with a Senmurv. Iran, Chal Tarhan. 7th-8th c. Stucco.Inv. Nr. 6642. Image of a quite similar panel which is in better condition that came from the same site, see British Museum, inv. no. ME 1973.7-25.3.

Sassanid silver plate of a simurgh (Sēnmurw), 7-8th c. CE. An exquisite and beautifully gilded Sassanid silver plate. The central creature within it is usually identified as the senmurw of Zoroastrian mythology which features the head of a snarling dog, the paws of a lion and the tail of a peacock. This object is today displayed in the Persian Empire collection of the British Museum.

Peacock-dragon or peacock-griffin? [Harappa Script rebus reading: maraka ‘peacock‘ Rebus marakaka loha ‘copper alloy, calcining metal’ कोला कोल्हा कोल्हें ‘jackal’ (Marathi) kōlupuli ‘tiger’ (Telugu) rebus: kolhe ‘smelter’ kol ‘blacksmith, working in iron’]

British Museum. Department: Middle East Registration number: 1922,0308.1 BM/Big number: 124095. Date 7thC-8thC (?) Description
Gilded silver plate with low foot-rim and centering mark on the underside; single line engraved around the outside of the rim, with a second engraved line defining the interior; hammered and lathe-turned, then decorated; interior shows a senmurw (a legendary dog-headed bird) facing left, a leaf hanging from its mouth; neck and lower portion of the wing are punched with an imbricated design; the breast is enriched with a foliated motif; the tail feathers are conventionally rendered by punching, the lowest portion concealed by a bold scroll in relief; below the tail, a branch of foliage projects into the field; the foliate border is composed of overlapping leaves, on each of which are punched three divergent stems surmounted by berries in groups of three. Old corrosion attack on part of the underside. Condition of gilding suggests that this is re-gilding. Dimensions : Diameter: 18.8 centimetres (rim)Diameter: 6.8 centimetres (interior, foot-ring)Diameter: 7.3 centimetres (exterior, foot-ring)Height: 3.8 centimetres
Volume: 450 millilitresWeight: 541.5 grammes.
Hammered gilt silver plate with a low circular foot ring measuring 7.3 cm. across at the base; centering mark and extensive traces of old corrosion attack on the underside; single line engraved around the outside of the rim, with a second engraved line defining the interior. The plate was made by hammering, and decorated through a combination of chasing and punching, with thick gilding over the background. Early published references to the raised portion being embossed separately and added with solder are incorrect, and only the foot ring is soldered on. XRF analysis indicates that the body has a composition of 92% silver, 6.9% copper and 0.45% gold, and the foot has a slightly different composition of 93.4% silver, 5.4% copper and 0.5% gold. The decoration is limited to the interior and shows a composite animal with a dog’s head, short erect mane, vertical tufted ears and lion’s paws, facing left with a foliate spray dangling from its open mouth like a lolling tongue; a ruff-like circle of hair or fur frames its face; the neck, muscular shoulders and lower tail feathers are punched with an imbricated or overlapping wave design resembling feathers or scales; the breast is enriched with a foliated motif; a pair of wings with forward curling tips rise vertically from behind the shoulders, with a broad rounded peacock-like tail behind decorated with a bold foliate scroll and conventionally rendered by punching; below the tail, a second branch of foliage projects into the field. The foliate border is composed of overlapping leaves, on which are punched three divergent stems surmounted by berries in groups of three.
This plate is said to have been obtained in India prior to 1922 when it was purchased in London by the National Art Collections Fund on behalf of the British Museum. It is usually attributed to the 7th, 8th or early 9th century, thus is post-Sasanian, Umayyad or early Abbasid in political terms. Initially described as a hippocamp, peacock-dragon or peacock-griffin, most scholars follow Trever’s (1938) identification of this as a senmurw (New Persian simurgh), or Avestan Saena bird (cf. also Schmidt 1980). The iconographic features of a senmurw include the head of a snarling dog, the paws of a lion and the tail of a peacock, with the addition of the plant motifs on the tail or hanging out of the mouth being allusions to its role in regenerating plants. This bird is described in Pahlavi literature as nesting “on the tree without evil and of many seeds” (Menog-i Xrad 61.37-42), and scattering them in the rainy season to encourage future growth (Bundahišn XVI.4). For this reason it was believed to bestow khwarnah (glory and good fortune), and particularly that of the Kayanids, the legendary ancestors of the Sasanians. This motif is first attested in a datable Sasanian context on the rock-cut grotto of Khusrau II (r. 591-628) at Taq-i Bustan, when it appears within embroidered roundels decorating the royal gown. The same motif recurs within a repeating pattern of conjoined pearl roundels depicted on silks from the reliquary of St Lupus and a tomb at Mochtchevaja Balka in the north Caucasus, a press-moulded glass inlay and vessel appliqué in the Corning Museum of Glass, metalwork, Sogdian murals, and the late Umayyad palace façade at Mshatta (e.g. Harper et al. 1978: 136, no. 60; Trever & Lukonin 1987: 115, pl. 73, no. 26; Overlaet ed. 1993: 270, 275-77, nos 119, 127-28). However, there are significant differences of detail between all of these, and a little caution is necessary before making definite attributions of iconography, date or provenance. Many of the features are also repeated on the depiction of a horned quadruped depicted on a 7th century plate in the Hermitage (Trever & Lukonin 1987: 117-18, pl. 106, no. 36); most recently, Jens Kröger has reiterated the possibility of an early Abbasid date for the present plate, and observed that the distinctive decoration on the tail resembles the split palmette motifs on early Abbasid and Fatimid rock crystal. Source:http://tinyurl.com/7wbzcxg


Map shows compartment seals of BMAC and Ahar complex (drawing by H.al Ajmani after A. Uesugi, 2011, ‘Development of inter-regional interaction systems in the Indus valley and beyond: a hypothetical view towards the formation of an Urban Society, in: Osada, T. and M. Witzel eds., Cultural relations between the Indus and the Iranian plateau during the third millennium BCE, Cambridge, MA, pp. 359-80).


Distribution of concentric circle seals on South Asia (Source: ibid. A. Uesegi 2011* marks Mature Harappan context).

See: The Gilund Project  https://www.academia.edu/1813929/Indices_of_Interaction_Comparisons_between_the_Ahar-Banas_and_Ganeshwar_Jodhpura_Cultural_Complex

Ahar Banas complex and the BMAC: https://www.academia.edu/766089/The_Ahar-Banas_Complex_and_the_BMAC

See: https://www.academia.edu/766089/The_Ahar-Banas_Complex_and_the_BMAC

See: https://www.academia.edu/25187494/Evidence_of_Indus_seals_of_Ahar-Banas_culture_is_integral_to_the_Vedic_culture_of_Sarasvati_Sindhu_civilization Evidence of Indus seals of Ahar-Banas culture is integral to the Vedic culure of Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization. This is what I wrote about the insights provided by Marta Ameri in the Bharata-Iranian cultural links (reproduced below).

Evidence of Indus seals of Ahar-Banas culture is integral to the Vedic culture of Sarasvati_Sindhu civilization

ahar1manasataramgini ‏@blog_supplement  Seals from Afg of BMAC complex with motif shared with Ahar-Banas chalcolithic. Thanks for these exquisite images of seals (called compartmentalised seals) from BMAC.


eraka ‘wing’ Rebus: eraka ‘moltencast’ garuDa ‘eagle’ Rebus: karaDa ‘hard alloy’; garuDa ‘gold’ (Samskritam)

Hieroglyph: eruvai ‘eagle’; synonym: गरुड ‘eagle’ eraka ‘wing’. Rebus: eruvai ‘copper’ (Tamil. Malayalam)+ करडा [ karaḍā ] Hard from alloy–iron, silver &c.  erako ‘moltencast’ ahar12Harappa seal h166A, h166B. Vats, 1940, Excavations in Harappa, Vol. II, Calcutta: Pl. XCI. 255              

वेदि [p= 1017,2] f. (later also वेदी ; for 1. 2. » col.2) an elevated (or according to some excavated) piece of ground serving for a sacrificial altar (generally strewed with कुश grass , and having receptacles for the sacrificial fire ; it is more or less raised and of various shapes , but usually narrow in the middle , on which account the female waist is often compared to it) RV. &cthe space between the supposed spokes of a wheel-shaped altar , S3ulbas.a stand , basis , pedestal , bench MBh. Ka1v. &c  

Hieroglyph/Rebus: kaṇḍ ‘fire-altar’ (Santali) kāṇḍa ‘tools, pots and pans and metal-ware’ (Marathi)

वेदि  f. knowledge , science (» अ-व्°)

नाग nāga [p= 532,3] m. (prob. neither fr. न-ग nor fr. नग्न) a snake , (esp.) Coluber Naga S3Br. MBh. &c

नाग  nāga n. (m. L. ) tin , lead Bhpr. n. a kind of coitus L.

गरुड [p= 348,3] m. ( √2. गॄ Un2. iv , 155 , ” devourer ” , because गरुड was perhaps originally identified with the all-consuming fire of the sun’s rays) , N. of a mythical bird (chief of the feathered race , enemy of the serpent-race [cf. RTL. p.321] , vehicle ofविष्णु [cf. RTL. pp. 65 ; 104 ; 288] , son of कश्यप and विनता ; shortly after his birth he frightened the gods by his brilliant lustre ; they supposed him to be अग्नि , and requested his protection ; when they discovered that he was गरुड , they praised him as the highest being , and called him fire and sun MBh. i , 1239 ff. ; अरुण , the charioteer of the sun or the personified dawn , is said to be the elder [or younger cf. RTL. p.104] brother of गरुड ; स्वाहा , the wife of अग्नि , takes the shape of a female गरुडी = सुपर्णी MBh. iii , 14307 and 14343) Suparn2. TA1r. x , 1 , 6 MBh. &ca building shaped like गरुड R. VarBr2S. 
gāruḍa गारुड a. (डी f.) [गरुडस्येदं अण्] 1 Shaped like Ga- ruḍa. -2 Coming from or relating to Garuḍa. डः, –डम् 1 An emerald; राशिर्मणीनामिव गारुडानां सपद्मरागः फलितो विभाति R.13.53. -2 A charm against (snake) poison; संगृहीतगारुडेन K.51 (where it has sense 1 also). -3 A missile presided over by Garuḍa. -4 A military array (व्यूह) of the shape of Garuḍa. -5 Gold.

Ta. eruvai a kind of kite whose head is white and whose body is brown; eagle. Ma. eruva eagle, kite.(DEDR 818). Rebus: eruvai ‘copper’ (Tamil).

eṟaka ‘wing’ (Telugu) Rebus: erako ‘molten cast’ (Tulu) loa ‘ficus’; rebus: loh ‘copper’. Pajhar ‘eagle’; rebus: pasra ‘smithy’.

Hieroglyph: वज्र[p= 913,1] mfn. shaped like a kind of cross (cf. above ) , forked , zigzag ib. [cf. Zd. vazra , ” a club. “]

Rebus: वज्र[p= 913,1] mn. n. a kind of hard iron or steel L. mfn. adamantine , hard , impenetrable W.” the hard or mighty one ” , a thunderbolt (esp. that of इन्द्र , said to have been formed out of the bones of the ऋषिदधीच or दधीचि [q.v.] , and shaped like a circular discus , or in later times regarded as having the form of two transverse bolts crossing each other thus x ; sometimes also applied to similar weapons used by various gods or superhuman beings , or to any mythical weapon destructive of spells or charms , also to मन्यु , ” wrath ” RV. or [with अपाम्] to a jet of water AV. &c ; also applied to a thunderbolt in general or to the lightning evolved from the centrifugal energy of the circular thunderbolt of इन्द्र when launched at a foe ; in Northern Buddhist countries it is shaped like a dumb-bell and called Dorje ; » MWB. 201 ; 322 &c ) RV. &ca diamond (thought to be as hard as the thunderbolt or of the same substance with it) , Shad2vBr. Mn. MBh. &cm. a form of military array , Mn. MBh. &c (cf. -व्यूह)a kind of hard mortar or cement (कल्क) VarBr2S. (cf. -लेप)

ahar13m0451A,B Text 3235 

m1390Bt Text 2868 Pict-74: Bird in flight.

ahar15Elamite bird (eagle?) with spread wings on an axe-head from Tepe Yahya (Lamberg-Karlovsky, C.C. and D.T. Potts. 2001. Excavations at Tepe Yahya, Iran, 1967-1975: The Third Millennium. Cambridge: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, p.216).

ahar14ahar16Two seals from Gonur 1 in thee  Murghab delta; dark brown stone ((Sarianidi 1981 b: 232-233, Fig. 7, 8) eagle engraved on one face.

“a fortified enclosure of mud and brick, comparable to the citadels of the Harappans, spread over 500 sq m. It was filled with ash and cowdung. A people called the Ahars had built it in Balathal near modern Udaipur some 4,500 years ago.

Carbon dating established that they had lived in and around the Mewar region in Rajasthan between 3,500 and 1,800 B.C. They were Mewar’s first farmers, older even than the Harappans. But why had they built a fort only to fill it with ash and cowdung? To solve the mystery, a team of Indian archaeologists excavating the site went on removing layer after layer of civilisation. …

Who Were The Ahars?



Sealings from Balathal (photos by M. Ameri cited as Fig 05 in: Marta Ameri, Changing patterns of Indo-Iranian interaction in the third and second millennia BCE as seen from the Ahar-Banas Culture).

There are 90 sites of Ahar – a ruralsociety. This village life emerged much before the mature Harappan era…In modern Rajasthan, Ahar sites have been reported in Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Dungarpur, Bhilwara, Rajsamand, Bundi, Tonk and Ajmer dotting 10,000 sq km. “There is a commonality in all 90-sites located in South eastern Rajasthan and parts of Madhya Pradesh,” says Jaipur-based Rima Hooja, a scholar on Ahar culture…The excavations reveal a large number of bull figurines indicating the Ahar people worshipped the bull. At Marmi, a site near Chittorgarh, these figures have been found in abundance indicating it could be a regional shrine of the bull cult of this rural population. Discovery of cow-like figurines in Ojiyana, the first site found on the slope of a hill, has baffled archaeologists…

ahar18Decorated black-and-red pottery is a mark of Ahar culture distinct from the Harappan where the interiors of vessels was black. In Balathal, the black-and-red ware constitute only 8 per cent of the ceramic assemblage whereas in Ahar it is 70 per cent.,,Unlike other chalcolithic cultures which had stone tools, the Aharites made copper tools such as chisels, razors and barbed and tanged arrow heads, apparently for hunting. Probably, they had the advantage of access to copper from the Khetri mines and in the nearby Aravalli hills. There is evidence of copper melting too. Harappans probably imported copper ores and even finished copper goods from Ahar people…Balathal, for example, remained unoccupied until 300 B.C., when in the Mauryan era, some people re-occupied the sites. Lalti Pandey of the Institute of Rajasthan Studies says of these people that “they knew of iron smelting and manufactured iron implements”. Two iron smelting furnaces have been found in Balathal in this phase. It is around this period’s layer that the fifth skeleton was found.” — Rohit Parihar in http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/ahar-culture-provides-clues-to-links-between-harappans-and-their-predecessors/1/232800.html 

“Ahar” and “Ahir” are variant of the Sanskrit term Abhir, which means nomad, “one who wanders about” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahar_caste Ahar are Yadava. “Yadu was the eldest son of Yayati  It is written in the Vishnu Puran that he did not inherit his father’s throne. He, therefore, retired towards Punjab and Iran. He had five sons out of whom Except Satjit and Krishna, three remained childless.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahir A variant spelling Ahir is a Prakrit form of the Samskrtam word, Abhira  .

See: https://www.academia.edu/27296997/Indus_Script_Gonur_Tepe_seal_hypertexts_on_anthropomorphs_deciphered_Sarasvati-Ganga_Doab_Bronze_Age_Revolution_and_spread_of_Copper_Hoard_Culture_into_Bactria

Varaha: Two Indus Script inscribed anthropomorphs of Ancient Bharatam copper complexes are deciphered as seafaring metalsmiths, merchants…

The decipherment is consistent with the archaeological finds of Bhirrana-Kalibangan-Karanpura-Ahar-Banas complex as Vedic Sarasvati civilization metalwork continuum of Bharatam Janam (RV 3.53.12), ‘metalcaster folk’.

Ahar-Banas region of Rajasthan (close to the Khetri copper belt) is a copper complex.

Cache of Seal Impressions Discovered in Western India Offers Surprising New Evidence For Cultural Complexity in Little-known Ahar-Banas Culture, Circa 3000-1500 B.C.E


Ahar-Banas culture finds point to copper/iron metalwork during the Chalcolithic period.

ahar25Iron points and nails from Gilund.

“The copper objects discovered at Gilund invite comparisons to the copper assemblages of Ahar, Balathal and Ojiyana…Implements fashioned from copper sheets are present at all the excavated Ahar-Banas sites except Purani Marmi…Although many scholars have noted the mineral wealth of the Aravalli Range, along which many Ahar-Banas sites are located, the number of copper objects discovered is surprisingly low…Misra suggested that the location of the furnace in the lowermost level indicated early knowledge of metallurgy…Copper technology at Gilund is also demonstrated by the presence of six vitrified fragments found in Middle to Late Chalcolithic trenches. They are blackened to the point that the flay has become like pumice, and one of the fragments still has what appear to be pieces of copper attached to the inside. It is likely that these fragments were once part of one or more crucibles used in the smelting of copper…copper technology was practiced by the inhabitants of Ahar-Banas sites in Rajasthan during the Chalcolithic.” (opcit., p.18)

ahar26Fragments of crucibles. Gilund.

ahar27Gilund: copper objects: 1 knife, 1 chisel, fragment, 2 blade fragments

ahar28Gilund copper finds: 2 rings, 1 kohl stick, 3 bangle fragments

पोळ [pōḷa] ‘zebu‘ m A bull dedicated to the gods, marked with a trident and set free; rebus:. पोळ [pōḷa] ‘magnetite, ferrite ore’. Humped bull figurines. Gilund. Source: Julie Hanlon, 2007, An Overview of the Antiquities from the 1999-2005 Excavations at Gilund, a Chalcolithic Site in Southeast Rajasthan, in: The Gilund Project:Excavations in Teresa P. Raczek and Vasant Shinde (eds), 2007, Regional Context. Proceedings of the 19th Meeting of theEuropean Association of South Asian Archaeologyin Ravenna, Italy, July 2007, p.14. Note: List of artifacts excavated from Gilund between 1999 to 2005 included 130 metal objects: Bangles Bells Blades Hoe fragments Nails Points Rings.

“The so-called unicorn… with one horn, heart-shaped harness is the central element of more than 80% of the square stamp seals (of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa),with bison and elephants making up the next largest groups…two stamp seals from Kalibangan (K-34 and K-37) depict a goat (or markhor) with no inscription. Instead, they have a fish in the space in front of icon that is generally reserved for a standard or feeding trough in the standard Harappan animal seals …”


ahar32(Marta Ameri, 2012, Regional diversity in the Harappan world: the evidence of seals, in: Connections and Complexity, New approaches in the archaeology of South Asia, ed. by S. Abraham, P.Gullapalli, TP Raczek, and UZ Rizvi, Walnut Creek, California, Left Coast Press, pp.355-374).

Note: The ‘unicorn’ is a hypertext composed of young bull + pannier + one horn + rings on neck. All hieroglyph components read rebus in Meluhha language:  कोंद kōnda ‘engraver, lapidary setting or infixing gems’ is a phonetic variant of a worker with gold and lathe: kunda ‘fine gold, lathe.’ खोंड  [khōṇḍa] m A young bull, a bullcalf. (Marathi) खोंडा [khōṇḍā] m A कां बळा of which one end is formed into a cowl or hood; खोंडरूं (p. 216) [ khōṇḍarūṃ ] n A contemptuous form of खोंडा in the sense of कांबळा -cowl. (Marathi) khōṇḍa A tree of which the head and branches are broken off, a stock or stump Rebus: kõdār ‘turner’ (Bengali); kõdā ‘to turn in a lathe’ (Bengali). koḍiya ‘rings on neck‘, koḍ ‘horn’ rebus: koḍ ‘workshop’. కోడియ (p. 326kōḍiya కోడె (p. 326kōḍe  [Tel.] n. A bullcalf. kodeduda. A young bull (Telugu) (NOTE: the hieroglyph is a hypertext composed of young bull, one horn, pannier (a कां बळा ‘sack’ of which one end is formed into a cowl or hood), rings on neck.)
Stepped cross seals with Indus Script hieroglyphs

Hieroglyph: eruvai ‘kite’ Rebus: eruvai = copper (Ta.lex.) eraka, er-aka = any metal infusion (Ka.Tu.); erako molten cast (Tu.lex.) Rebus: eraka = copper (Ka.) eruvai = copper (Ta.); ere – a dark-red colour (Ka.)(DEDR 817). eraka, era, er-a = syn. erka, copper, weapons (Ka.) The central dot in the cross (which signifies a fire-altar) is: goTa ’round’ Rebus: khoT ‘ingot’. gaNDA ‘four’ rebus: kanda.’fire-altar’.khamba ‘wing’ rebus: kammaTa ‘mint’.


On the sculpture of Rudra posted by Manasataramgini on twitter,  vArAhI, is shown on the right-register frieze. This is the clearest, unambiguous link to Veda.

A v.rare depiction of pashupati-shiva with a central antelope head surrounded by 8 mAtR^i-s including vArAhI.

Image of rudra, umA & skanda from kuSANa temple at was 1ce an important shaiva-kShetra in suvastu: modern Malakand in TSP

Rudra is depicted with three heads; on the right, one face shows Rudra  as a rishi. On the left, third face shows Rudra as an antelope. This antelope is a Harappa Script hieroglyph read rebus: mr̤eka, melhgoat‘ (Telugu. Brahui) Rebus: melukkha ‘milakkha, copper’; mleccha-mukha ‘copper’ (Samskrtam).

ahar31.jpgCopper/alloy metals mint, smithy/forge, smelter: Ta. kampaṭṭam coinage, coin. Ma. kammaṭṭam, kammiṭṭam coinage, mint. Ka. kammaṭa id.; kammaṭi a coiner. Signified by the symbol: Fin of fish khambhaṛā ‘fin’ ( Lahnda). ayo ‘fish’ rebus: aya ‘iron’ ayas ‘metal’ PLUS Tor. miṇḍ ‘ram’, miṇḍā́l ‘markhor’ (CDIAL 10310) Rebus: meḍ (Ho.); mẽṛhet ‘iron’ (Munda.Ho.) med ‘copper’ (Slavic) mlekh ‘goat’ Rebus: milakkhu ‘copper’ mleccha ‘copper’.

Hieroglyph: tail with three short strokes: kolA ‘tail’ Rebus: kol ‘working in iron’ kole.l ‘smithy’ kolom ‘three’ rebus: kolimi ‘smithy, forge’.

S. Kalyanaraman Sarasvati Research Center

December 7, 2016





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