Iravatham Mahadevan is India’s most highly respected scholar of the un- deciphered ancient Indus script. Iravatham Mahadevan was an Indian epigraphist and civil servant, known for his successful decipherment of the Tamil-Brahmi script and. The scholar-epigraphist Iravatham Mahadevan passed away at the age of 88 on November 26 in Chennai, having lived a life – or should one.

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Support Feel the pride in being part of us — Contribute to save a book or an activity Click here. This work is now a classic in Harappan studies. They had names of people and recorded small gifts. He knew more about Indian epigraphy and the linguistic aspects of Dravidian and Indo-Aryan than some specialists I heard the news on Monday morning of the passing of Iravatham Mahadevan and was deeply saddened.

After kahadevan retirement from administrative service, the study of epigraphy became a mission of his life. Someone who told the truth about history and allowed many others to dream of doing the same, is no more. Born on the banks of the Kaveri river ina couple of hundred kilometres from Chennai, Mahadevan was educated at Tiruchirapalli.

Iravatham Mahadevan

RMRL has a vast collection that reflects Tamil print heritage and culture. Mahadevan had his schooling in the town of Tiruchirapalli and graduated in Chemistry from the Vivekananda College, Chennai and law from the Madras Law College.

Concordance and Tables in It required a few small adjustments which Mahadevan recognised and that he worked out and that enabled him to read them. His reply was instantaneous: I am very happy to see your research library.

His absence from our midst will be felt for years to come. He realised that there was a need for an up-to-date concordance of all the symbols, so he spent some years preparing this.

Papers on the Indus Script by Dr. Iravatham Mahadevan | Roja Muthiah Research Library

Inhe was elected the president of the Annual Congress of the Epigraphical Society of India and in iravatgam became the general president of the Indian History Congress. Infor instance, he wrote in The Hindu that Asko Parpola, a distinguished Finnish Indologist, who had become the first recipient of the Classical Tamil award instituted by the then chief minister of Tamil Nadu, richly ,ahadevan this honour. The readings explore vast areas of Mythology and are very suggestive of various historical continuities, even if I do not agree with every reading.


Texts, Concordance and Tables. A New Interpretation But mayadevan were, significantly, the earliest written records in Tamil, dating to a couple of centuries before the Christian Era and continuing for a few centuries.

A tribute to Iravatham Mahadevan, the man who first argued that Indus script was Tamil

The work on deciphering the Indus script was a far more complicated study on which he spent half a century. Imagining a 4, year old Utopia, a living breathing actual Utopia that left evidence of its existence in archaeology. He inspired without needing anything more than his work and the truth it spoke. What do we know about the Indus script? The news that I had a copy spread quickly and I was inundated with callers asking to borrow the book.

Iravatham Mahadevan, Extraordinary Scholar of Indus and Brahmi Scripts

Spanning a period of years, the collection of more than 3,00, items comprising of books, journals, newspapers, printed ephemera and audio records. Even today, people doubt that the Indus scripts codify a language. Printable version Dec 31, Mahadevan became quite an explorer of the south Indian landscape in searching for the inscriptions. One of the calls was from Mahadevan: He spoke at length about communities, about giving people a deep connection to the land and the place they lived in, and a deeper connection to the past.

Giving us not just history, but narrative.

Mwhadevan dedication and passion to create a archiving, retrieval and restoration is very inspirational. The type of work requires much dedication and commitment.

I was a masters student, pursuing a mix of archaeology and film production — a course specifically designed by British Archaeologist and Broadcaster Mick Aston to train professionals who could take archaeology out of the academic ivory tower to the communities and people to whom it mattered most.

After obtaining an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Vivekananda College in Chennai and a law degree from Madras Law College, he joined the IAS in and remained in service for twenty-seven years, before taking voluntary retirement in For these works arose from several decades of unswerving commitment to explore the unknown and make it intelligible.

Study of the Indus script. Kosambi also saw the three-faced deity on stamp seals as having some of the attributes of the later Hindu god Shiva. One of the main aspects that RMRL concentrates on is preserving existing material in alternate formats, for which the library has acquired specialized equipment.


It was a privilege to visit the Roja Muthiah Research Library and to admire the dedication and commitment of the staff who have produced a Jewel without any iraavtham the resources better endowed places take for granted.

Mahadevan started his research on the Indus script following a brush with W. His belief about how scholars must conduct themselves remains, beyond question, the one aspect of his persona that I will remember — and miss — mahafevan most.

I could say it because Iravatham Mahadevan said so, and for year-old me, it was the biggest thrill that the language I spoke and was learning to read and write in was perhaps older than any other. Behind every symbol Iravatham Mahadevan presented, and the many he deciphered and interpreted, I could imagine a story — an existence, a way of life, a truth. Events Showcasing Tamil heritage through lectures, exhibitions,seminars. The presence of the later Indo-Aryan speakers led to some degree of cultural and religious inter-connections that are apparent in the sources of the post-Harappan period.

If there was one salve, it was that he died after a long-term archaeological and genetic study proved — as conclusively as these things can be proved — that the people of the Indus Kahadevan were indeed Dravidian, were Tamil.

This also resulted in a friendship between him and his wife and my mother and myself. Inhe published a revised edition of the book which mahadecan since acquired the status of a classic. There was nothing in his education in that part of Tamil Nadu which showed any inclination towards a career in ancient writings.

One was the study of the adaptation of the Brahmi script to Tamil, what came to be called Tamil Brahmi, which was available in large numbers of short inscriptions scattered in south India. Visitors’ Impressions I have been inspired by the commitment of the staff of this institution to pursue excellence and make these marvelous collections available to researchers and the public, both now and in the future.