Dravidian Writing in Central Asia


Dr. Clyde A. Winters, Ph.D.

There is really no secret or mystery surrounding the writing on the seal/tablet found at Anau. The writing has analogy to the Harappan writing used by the Dravidian settlers of the Indus Valley.

There were Proto-Dravidian/Harappan colonies in Central Asia, established in Eastern Bactria. The Harappans had trade relations with the Namazga V site. Masson has proposed that the Altyn-Depe people spoke Proto-Dravidian.

Moreover, the Proto-Dravidian of the Harappan civilization controlled the trade of Central Asia. The major Harappan colony in this area was Shortughai, situated at the confluence of the Amou Darya and the Kokcha River. Shortughai flourished between 2500 and 1800 B.C.

Today we also find Brahui, a Dravidian language spoken in this part of Central Asia and Russia. Given the presence of numerous Dravidians in the part of Asia, and the documented presence of Indus Valley colonies in this part of Central Asia suggest that the Anau tablet was probably written in the Indus Valley/Harappan writing in an aspect of the Dravidian language closely related to Tamil.

Back in the 1980's I deciphered the Indus Valley writing. You can find my dictionary of the Harrappan signs in : Clyde Winters (1994c) Ancient Dravidian: An introductory grammar of Harappan with Vocabularies , Journal Tamil Studies, No.41, 1-21; and Clyde Winters (1995a) Ancient Dravidian:The Harappan signs, Journal Tamil Studies, No. 42, 1-23.

I will use the Dravidian language to read the Harappan signs on the Anau tablet, to test this hypothesis.The Indus Valley writing is read from right to left, top to bottom. Below is a decipherment of the Anau tablet.



Papa ka tutu I

Papa: distribute God's mercy

Ka: balance, to preserve, shelter, watch, guard; protector

Tutu: abundant virtue; abundant purity; purity and immaculateness

I: thou, you; permit it; to let; give (it).


(1) Distribute God's Mercy (and )(2) protection [to your servant], (3-4) Purity and immaculateness give (it) [also].


Winters,Clyde Ahmad, "Are Dravidians of African Origin", P.Second ISAS,1980,( Hong Kong:Asian Research Service,

1981b) pages 789- 807.

Winters,Clyde Ahmad, "The Harappan script Deciphered:Proto- Dravidian Writing of the Indus Valley", P Third ISAS, 1981,(Hong Kong:Asian Research Service, 1982b) pages 925-936.

Winters,Clyde Ahmad, "The Indus Valley Writing is Proto- Dravidian",Journal of Tamil Studies , no 25 (June 1984a), pp.50-64.

Winters,Clyde Ahmad, "Further Notes on Japanese and Tamil" ,International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics 13, no2, (June 1984c) pages 347-353.

Winters, Clyde Ahmad, "The Inspiration of the Harappan Talismanic Seals", Tamil Civilization 2, no1 (March 1984d), pages 1-8.

Winters, Clyde Ahmad, "The Harappan Writing of the Copper Tablets", Journal of Indian History LXll, nos.1-3 (1984), pages 1-5.

Winters, Clyde Ahmad, "The Proto-Culture of the Dravidians ,Manding and Sumerians", Tamil Civilization 3, no1 (March 1985a) ,pages 1-9.

Winters, Clyde Ahmad, "The Indus Valley Writing and related Scripts of the 3rd Millennium BC", India Past and Present 2,no1 ( 1985b), pages 13-19.

Winters,Clyde Ahmad Winters ,"The Dravidian Origin of the Mountain and Water Toponyms in central Asia", Journal of Central Asia 9, no2 (1986d), pages 144-148.

Winters,Clyde Ahmad, "The Dravidian and Manding Substratum in Tokharian",- Central Asiatic Journal 32, nos1-2,(1988)pages 131-141.

Winters,Clyde Ahmad,"Tamil,Sumerian and Manding and the Genetic Model",International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics, 18,(1989) no.l.

Winters, Clyde Ahmad, "The Dravido Harappan Colonization of Central Asia", Central Asiatic Journal 34, no1-2 (1990),pages 120-144.

_________.(1994c). Ancient Dravidian: An introductory grammar of Harappan with Vocabularies , Journal Tamil Studies, No.41, 1-21.

_________.(1995a). Ancient Dravidian:The Harappan signs, Journal Tamil Studies, No.42, 1-23.

__________.(1995b). Ancient Dravidian: Harappan Grammar/Dictionary, Journal Tamil Studies, No.43-44, 59-130.