Brahmi: Rediscovering the Lost Script

Ankita Roy and Malay Mandal, Resurrect Books, 2016, iv, 140 p, col plates, ISBN : 9788193208519, $45.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Brahmi: Rediscovering the Lost Script

Contents: Foreword. Preface. 1. History of writing. 2. Indian writing antiquity. 3. Indian epigraphy. 4. Brahmi as a script. 5. Decipherment. 6. Brahmi and Asoka. 7. Inscriptions of Asoka. 8. Developmental stages of Brahmi. 9. Descendants of Brahmi. Concluding talk. Credits and acknowledgement. Further reading. Appendix. Index.

Brahmi is probably the ancient script known to India, majorly seen during 4th - 3rd century BCE, during the reign of Asoka the great. Although the oldest pictorial writing system known to us is the Indus Valley Hieroglyphs, they cannot be considered as a true script. Recent archaeological excavations in Tamil Nadu have also indicated that Brahmi had a long history before king Devanampiyadasi Asoka. ‘Brahmi script’ is the mother of almost all Indic Scripts as well as scripts of other eastern Asian countries like Sumatra, Java, Bali, China and Malaysia. The book is a comprehensive analysis of the Brahmi as a script in addition to covering all major Brahmi inscriptions found in India. This book also talks about ancient writing styles and how they further developed into various other descendants. Numerous historical tidbits have been pieced together for the sake of maintaining continuity and interest. The challenging task of translating large amount of text into visual data has also been achieved through plethora of photographs, illustrations and chronological timelines.

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