THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Noted historian M R Raghava Varrier said that the recent findings at the Edakkal caves in Wayanad district were related to the Indus Valley civilization. It was for the first time that a symbol peculiar to the Indus Valley objects has been unearthed by archeologists in Kerala.
Addressing a news conference here along with Cultural Affairs Minister M A Baby on Wednesday, he said that the Edakkal cave paintings were noted for their style and subject. The rock engravings are believed to be those in the period between 4000 BC and 1000 BC.
The figure unearthed like ‘man-with-the jar’ during the recent explorations at Edakkal are peculiar to Indus Valley civilisation. Human figures are depicted on the Indus Valley seals as holding various objects such as bow, jar,stick etc. Scholars have identified in the corpus of Indus script nearly 430 ‘letters’ including basic and compound signs. While some signs are shared by other contemporary civilizations of the Old World, some combinations like the ‘man-with-the-jar’ are peculiar to Indus Valley objects, he said.
He said that scholars like A. Sundara and Airavatham Mahadeven have reported various marks and signs from different parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu respectively.
The recently-discovered engraving at Edakkal renders support to the theory suggesting continuity of Harappan cultural symbols in the southern parts of the Asian subcontinent. More evidence was necessary to make any definite and meaningful statements about the relations between the Harappan script and the sign found in the Edakkal caves.
The Edakkal sign will lend further support for finding the status of a ‘word-divider’ in the study of the structure of Harappan system of writing, he said. “We have found an initial marker or terminal marker. The vertical and horizontal lines in the figurines signifies different meanings. In the second phase of explorations we may be able to elaborate on this’’ he said.
M A Baby said the protection of the Edakkal caves have been entrusted with the Archeological Department. The flow of visitors to the cave will be restricted. Archeological and Tourism departments have been asked to arrange only conducted tours. He said a master plan would be prepared to protect the caves. Quarriying near the cave would be banned, he said.