NEW DELHI, April 24 (Xinhua) -- The mysterious Indus Valley script symbols represent a language instead of mere pictograms as widely believed before, local daily Mail Today quoted scientists as saying Friday.
Rajesh Rao, an India-born computer scientist working in the University of Washington, applied advanced machine learning techniques and used statistical methods to compare the pattern of the symbols with various linguistic scripts and nonlinguistic systems, said the report.
He also compared the symbols with the modern computer programming language Fortran, while some other researchers calculated the amount of randomness allowed in choosing the next symbol in a sequence during the study.
The results they obtained showed that the Indus inscriptions fell in the middle of the spoken languages and differed from any of the non-linguistic systems.
"We can now scientifically show that the Indus script shares statistical properties with other natural languages such as English, Tamil, and Sanskrit," the paper quoted Rao as saying.
"Our research provides scientific evidence against claims made in 2004 that the Indus script does not represent language and is merely a set of religious and political symbols," he added.
The Indus Valley Civilization was the first major urban culture of South Asia. It reached its peak from 2600 B.C. to 1900 B.C. roughly in what is today's Pakistan, parts of India as far east asDelhi and as far south as Bombay, and parts of Afghanistan.
The script symbols were made on tiny stamp seals, amulets, ceramic objects and small tablets. Known for almost 130 years, the scripts remain largely undeciphered.