The Roots of Hinduism Paperback
Asko Parpola
  • ISBN : 9780199465149
  • year : 2015
$ 45.00
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Hinduism has two major roots. The more familiar is the religion brought to South Asia in the second millennium BCE by speakers of Aryan or Indo-Iranian languages, a branch of the Indo-European language family. Another, more enigmatic, root is the Indus civilization of the third millennium BCE, which left behind thousands of short inscriptions in a forgotten pictographic script. Discovered in the valley of the Indus River in the early 1920s, the Indus civilization had a population estimated at one million people, in more than 1000 settlements, several of which were cities of some 50,000 inhabitants. With an area of nearly a million square kilometers, the Indus civilization was more extensive than the other key urban cultures of the time, in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Yet, after almost a century of excavation and research the Indus civilization remains little understood. What language did the Indus people speak? How might we decipher the exquisitely carved Indus inscriptions? What deities did they worship? Are the roots of contemporary Hinduism to be found in the religion of the Indus civilization as well as in the Vedic religion?