The Indus Jigsaw: Can It Be Pieced Together, At Least Partially?

Vikram Zutshi in Swarajya:

ScreenHunter_2586 Feb. 12 17.47Asko Parpola is a Finnish Indologist and Sindhologist, current professor emeritus of Indology and South Asian studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Generally recognised as the world's expert on the Indus script, he has been studying this undeciphered writing for over 40 years at the University of Helsinki. He is co-editor of collections of all seals and inscriptions in India and Pakistan.

As professor of Indology he has led a Finnish team of experts through numerous approaches to the puzzle of one of the world's very earliest writing systems. A grand summary of Dr Parpola's work, Deciphering the Indus Script was published by Cambridge University Press in 1994. His next opus, The Roots of Hinduism: The Early Aryans and the Indus Civilization, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015.

Vikram Zutshi: Describe the premise of your book The Roots of Hinduism. What can a reader expect to take away from this work? How do you define Hinduism and where can its roots be found?

Dr Parpola: The earliest literature of South Asia, generally dated between about 1300 and 1000 BCE, consists of the hymns of the Rigveda. In these skilfully constructed poems, people calling themselves Arya praise their deities and pray for victory in battle, for sons, and for other good things. What is the prehistoric background of these Aryas? Their Sanskrit language belongs to the Indo-European language family mostly spoken outside India. This raises the question: where are the roots of the Vedic religion?

More here. [Thanks to Omar Ali.]