The script of the ancient Indus civilization remains undeciphered. The hypothesis that the script encodes language has recently been questioned. Here, we present evidence for the linguistic hypothesis by showing that the script's conditional entropy is closer to those of natural languages than various types of nonlinguistic systems.
Although no historical information exists about the Indus civilization (flourished ca. 2600-1900 B.C.), archaeologists have uncovered about 3,800 short samples of a script that was used throughout the civilization. The script remains undeciphered, despite a large number of attempts and claimed decipherments over the past 80 years. Here, we propose the use… (More)
Archaeological excavations in the sites of the Indus Valley civilization (2500-1900 BCE) in Pakistan and northwestern India have unearthed a large number of artifacts with inscriptions made up of hundreds of distinct signs. To date, there is no generally accepted decipherment of these sign sequences, and there have been suggestions that the signs could be… (More)
The Indus script is one of the major undeciphered scripts of the ancient world. The small size of the corpus, the absence of bilingual texts, and the lack of definite knowledge of the underlying language has frustrated efforts at decipherment since the discovery of the remains of the Indus civilization. Building on previous statistical approaches, we apply… (More)