The Evidence against the 'Israelites-from-Indus' thesis

Quite a bit of basic information on the Proto-Indo-European language can be found on its Wikipedia article. For more advanced information, the citations in its References and Bibliography sections might be a good start.

Could well be Anatolia. I remember Caucasus. But humbly, I think the difference between Caucasus and Anatolia may not be significant for our purposes.
PIE Caucasus.pdf (3.5 MB)

I agree: hieroglyphics > consonantal script > Hebrew script.
The question is whether the consonantal script in above sequence was Proto-Sinatic or Indus Script. The above trajectory holds both ways.

Yes, there is no “evidence” among the established western scholars. But there IS evidence. The question is Hebrew emerged from which consonantal script Proto-Sinatic of Harappan? This can be answered by making a comparative study of Proto-Sinatic>Hebrew; and Indus>Hebrew. I have not had the time or resources or knowledge to look into the Proto-Sinatic origin. I have looked at the Harappan origins and I find some evidence. I agree this requires deeper examination. I am
01 sr rao phoenician.pdf (614.2 KB)

21 sr rao indus script.pdf (123.2 KB)
Here is another paper by SR Rao.

If that be the case, how would you explain the similarities between Harappan and Hebrew? While you reflect the Western Consensus, there may be more to it.

I would note that this paper (i) is referring to linguistics rather than genetics, and (ii) only articulates “early contacts between Proto-Indo-European (PIE) and the languages of the Caucasus”, not a Causacian origin for PIE.

Although they would be related, it would not be surprising if the linguistic evidence of the origins of the Proto-Indo-European language differ somewhat from the genetic evidence of the origins of Proto-Indo-Europeans. On the latter score, it seems that the Anatolian hypothesis (which @John_Harshman alluded to) and the Kurgan hypothesis are among the foremost competitors. As the homelands of these hypotheses sandwich the Caucasus mountains, early linguistic contact would be unsurprising under either of these two hypotheses.

However, it is unclear how either the Proto-Indo-European_language or the Proto-Indo-Europeans are relevant to the ‘Israelites-from-Indus’ thesis, so maybe we should get back on-topic.

Can you point to any peer-reviewed literature, European or Asian, that claims that proto-Hebrew derives from Indus script?

Why have you uploaded Rama Sarker’s chapter again? It does not appear to establish a direct relationship between the Indus Script and the proto-Hebrew script, but rather between the Indus script and the Semitic script. Also, you have not pointed to where it claims that the Indus script is the antecedent of either script, if in fact it even makes this claim.

This is again NOT a “paper by SR Rao”. It is in fact a paper by one Koenraad Elst, “a Flemish right wing Hindutva author, known primarily for his support of the Out of India theory and the Hindutva movement.” That does not exactly make him sound like a solid source (nor for that matter have you actually articulated exactly what relevant “evidence” you are citing him for).

No, that isn’t a question. Indus script is unrelated to hieroglyphics, and it probably isn’t a consonantal script but a syllabic or logographic one, judging by the number of signs. And what contact can you even hypothesize between Harappa and Egypt at that time?

I’m thinking you don’t know what a consonantal script is. It’s one in which each sign represents a single consonant, with vowels unrepresented. Such scripts have a fairly small number of signs, in line with the fairly small number of consonants. The Harappan script has way too many signs for that, and Rao’s theory on this is not convincing. I’m also not sure what you mean by “cursive”, sine the signs shown in the figure are not.I see that Rao has managed to decipher the inscriptions, and yet I see no acceptance of this in any mainstream source. It’s apparently not even controversial, just ignored, which makes me suspicious. Where were these papers published?

What similarities, and are you talking about language or script here? You really need to be careful about this confusion.

I’m still reading your pdf, but as I learn new words, I’ll post them in this thread.

A new word I’m learning is “seals.”

In your pdf:
In the Harappan cities some 4200 seals, many of them duplicates, have been found which carry short inscriptions in an otherwise unknown script.

I ask, “What are seals?”


A seal is a special mark or design, for example on a document, representing someone or something. It may be used to show that something is genuine or officially approved.

Neither ‘paper’ is by Rao.

The first is a chapter in a book written by Rama Sarker and published by Sharada Publishing House (it can be found in Table of Contents of this listing for the book).

The second is a paper by Koenraad Elst (who is listed as the author in the pdf file’s document properties). It was published in this book, published by Voice of India, and also previously appeared on the author’s website here.

Seal (emblem) will give you more general information on the topic.

The Wikipedia article on the Indus Valley Civilisation also has a section on the Seals of that civilisation, including pictures of examples.

I happened upon this paper which touches on the development of the Canaanite alphabet, with the discovery of an Egyptian style ivory lice comb, complete with an embedded louse. Based on the letter style, it is reported as the earliest full sentence found inscribed alphabetically. It has not been absolutely dated, but I would hate to be a nit picker.

A Canaanite’s Wish to Eradicate Lice on an Inscribed Ivory Comb from Lachise

Archaeologists discover oldest known sentence in first alphabet - BBC News


Glanced through. Thanks. Will you give page number where the connection with Egyptian script is given.

The article in question is about the “earliest full sentence found inscribed alphabetically”, not about the evolution of the Canaanite/Phoenician alphabet from Egyptian hieroglyphs via the proto-Canaanite/Proto-Sinaitic script. The latter topic covers centuries of evolution, and over a century of historical research, starting with Flinders Petrie’s discovery of Proto-Sinaitic in 1905 (published in W. M. Flinders Petrie; C. T. Currell, 1906, Researches in Sinai), so is highly unlikely to be covered in its entirety in any single paper, in any depth.

If you want more details on this evolution, then I’d suggest that you either (i) read the references cited by the above Wikipedia articles, or (ii) do a Google Scholar (or similar) search on some combination of the above topics (e.g. “proto-Canaanite” and “hieroglyphs” or “Proto-Sinaitic” and “Phoenician alphabet”).

  • I’m curious about the origins of the three Abrahamic religions. What caused this to happen?

  • Is time a language too? What’s the oldest time that they’ve used and been able to share with others?

  • Let me know if I’m comprehending you all correctly?

@Tim and @John_Harshman thinks oldest language is Canaan language am I understanding correctly?

@OneGod is unsure about Afro-Asiatic
@OneGod thinks it’s Indus Valley language the oldest language.

No, you are not. We haven’t been talking about languages at all, just scripts.

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These papers relate to the period of mid 2nd millennium. It seems you are saying that Hebrew developed from Canaanite which developed from Egyptian. The problem lies in the time. We would have to believe that the Hebrews had no language and script before 1500 bce, the time of exodus. Now God wrote on stone at Sinai. The narrative continues as if those people knew the script at that time. Also God added h to Abram c. 2000 bce. Also if Hebrews were in egypt 1900 to 1500 bce. Hebrew would develop from Egyptian.

This is no problem at all!

  1. The Exodus narrative is widely considered to be legendary not historical. I would also note that you have provided no evidence for the historicity of the Exodus narrative.

  2. Even if we accept the Exodus narrative as largely historical, that does not mean that every element of it is historical. That you reject Egypt as historical, but expect us to accept that “God wrote on stone at Sinai” as historical, is towering hypocrisy!

  3. You have provided no evidence for “1500 bce” as “the time of exodus”. As I demonstrated above:

the scholarly consensus, even among those who agree that the Exodus had a (modest) historical core, seems to be that it occurred in the 13th to 12th Centuries BCE

You have presented no evidence for these dates, or that the events you refer to actually happened, so your claims based upon them are unfounded.

So really, the only basis for your objection is that it contradicts your ‘Israelites-from-Indus’ thesis.

Hebrew is a Canaanite language. The Canaanite languages did not develop from Egyptian, although there was considerable mutual influence.

That does not follow. All ancient language developed before script.

You are making something complicated which is actually pretty straightforward.

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I just thought of something

Scripts one can see later due to visual

Language audio it fades.

How does one know what audio language is the oldest - when audio fades and audio doesn’t stay like how visual does?

We don’t. And none of us were talking about “oldest” language – rather which languages are related to, and are descendants of, other languages.

Yes, researchers base their understanding of ancient spoken languages on written script. But it is not as simple as ‘script A derives from script B, so language A derives from language B’ as (i) both languages would have existed long before written scripts existed and (ii) written scripts can be borrowed and adapted from unrelated (or very distantly related) languages – so analysing similarity of scripts does not tell you anything about the relationship between the languages.

I would suspect that the actual process involves something similar to first reconstructing each language based on how they use (and have adapted) the script, and then comparing the reconstructed languages.

The result of this is the finding that proto-Canaanite speakers borrowed and simplified the hieroglyphics of Egyptian, a distantly related, but geographically proximate, language, to form the proto-Caananite script. This proto-Caananite language and script in turn evolved into the Canaanite language and script (the latter being more commonly referred to as the Phoenician script), and into the Hebrew language and proto-Hebrew script (the modern Hebrew script was borrowed from the Assyrian script later).

(This may all seem rather messy and complicated – but I’m afraid cultural, including linguistic, influences almost always are messy and complicated.)

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