Mayank N. Vahia

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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)
In a recent Last Words column (Sproat 2010), Richard Sproat of the Oregon Health and Science University laments the reviewing practices of “general science journals” after dismissing our work and that of Lee, Jonathan, and Ziman (2010) as “useless” and “trivially and demonstrably wrong.” While we expect such categorical statements to have already raised(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)
Three different types of very intense, quasi-regular X-ray bursts have been observed from the Galactic superluminal X-ray transient source GRS 1915+105 with the Pointed Proportional Counters of the Indian X-ray Astronomy Experiment onboard the Indian satellite IRS-P3. The observations were carried out from 1997 June 12 to June 29 in the energy range of 2−18(More)
Understanding the syntax of an undeciphered writing is a significant challenge. This can provide important clues to the nature of writing and guide potential decipherments. Here we evaluate a set of computational tools that can help us address this problem. We show that significant aspects of the writing can be inferred through this approach without making(More)
Although no historical information exists about the Indus civilization (fl. c. 2600-1900 BC), archaeologists have uncovered about 3800 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 of(More)
In a recent LastWords column (Sproat 2010), Richard Sproat laments the reviewing practices of “general science journals” after dismissing our work and that of Lee, Jonathan, and Ziman (2010) as “useless” and “trivially and demonstrably wrong.” Although we expect such categorical statements to have already raised some red flags in the minds of readers, we(More)