Also, one of the meanings of my first name "Mani" is literally "Bell".
Also: I'm Tamil.
My Archaeological/anthropological knowledge doesn't even extend to spelling those words correctly (thank you Chrome spell-checker), so I can't do more than wonder unless someone here... (nudge, nudge)
Interesting question. Cuneiform may be one:
Excerpt from above page:
Cuneiform script (/kjuːˈniːᵻfɔːrm/ kew-nee-i-form or /ˈkjuːnᵻfɔːrm/ kew-ni-form), one of the earliest systems of writing, was invented by the Sumerians. It is distinguished by its wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets, made by means of a blunt reed for a stylus. The name cuneiform itself simply means "wedge shaped".
I remember reading about it in Social Studies in school :) - along with the Indus Valley civilization and maybe one or two others.
Serifs on Roman letters originated as a way to clean up the ends of the characters when carved in stone.
When I was a kid in California, you'd regularly see gang graffiti painted in square block lettering that imitated what it would look like carved in wood (e.g. a park bench).
The Romans wrote most ephemeral stuff on wax tablets which could be smoothed over for re-use; this is where the phrase "tabula rasa" comes from. Some examples survive and also show curves .
Bell in Hindi is घंटी (ghanti).
Learning more about this is actually kind of hard. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of pseudoarchaeology concerning pre-Columbian transoceanic contact.
IMHO the most likely explanation is that it is either a modern-day hoax (that is, planted at the dig site) or a result of native American trading (After all, the fact that there were Norse settlements in Newfoundland is not in doubt - so conceivably, someone got the coin there and carried it south, that someone not being Norse)
It would be fun if a Norse settlement in the US could be proven, though. We'd be happy to incorporate you as a county of good ol' Norway.
So we already are an extension of Jutland, complete with morose temperaments and bad cooking.
I do accept that we have to distinguish between mythology and history, but lets analyse this according to scientific principles for a moment. If you have a theory and it accurately predicts what happens, we call that science. If the Aztec believed there were bearded white people living beyond the eastern sea that would one day come and conquer them, then it actually goes and happens, then I think it’s reasonable to take the origins of that belief seriously.
True :) Hadn't remembered this for some years, but your point above reminded me of it: There is a temple in Madurai (Tamil Nadu), or maybe another city in Tamil Nadu (which has tons of temples), where on the tower (gopuram) there are one or more carvings of a man (only the face) with a hat - like a Western hat. Had seen it as a kid when we went on a tour of South India. I remember my relatives saying that it could be that it depicted a Westerner, though the temple was made hundreds of years ago or more.
Besides that, there's plenty of evidence of pre-Portuguese presence in the Azores. There are theories that everyone from the Phoenicians to the Greeks to the Chinese discovered the island before Portugal did.
I like language, and this inscription makes me wonder. Why write on a bell that it's a bell? I'd be less surprised if the bell had said "Muhayideen Baksh’s ship".
I mean, I get that school buildings say "School" because otherwise it's really just a building. But a bell? Isn't that a bit like writing "Headmaster's Office Door" on the headmaster's office door?
I wonder whether maybe it was just an artsy kind of joke. A bit like how in import stores you can buys forks that say "FORK" on the handle.
I now imagine the crew on that ship looking up to the bell every once in a while, grinning, thinking "that Baksh fella is a tough one but at least he has some sense of humor".
In my native Hindi, you would say "X's ship's bell". If you drop the the "bell", it becomes "X's ship". Obviously it's not a ship. And if you drop the "ship", it becomes "X". That would mean the bell's name is "X". So the only complete, logical sentence has to be "X's ship's bell".
It's like in English you have fingers and toes, and obviously fingers are not toes, and toes are not fingers. But for example in Polish, they are both called the same thing, so you need to specify which "fingers" you mean - so you could have a sentence that says "foot fingers", which when translated into English could end up being "foot toes" - obviously to an English speaker it makes no sense, since toes are only on a foot, so saying foot toes is pointless. But it makes perfect sense in Polish, and yet this nuance is lost here.
Just checked it in Google Translate:
finger - उंगली
toe - पैर की अंगुली (finger of foot)
though you can see that they use two different spellings for ungali there - the latter one reads as anguli.
I used to think that the former was the right spelling, but on seeing the above now, remembered the story of Angulimala and Buddha, so maybe both are correct spellings:
>I like language, and this inscription makes me wonder. Why write on a bell that it's a bell? I'd be less surprised if the bell had said "Muhayideen Baksh’s ship".
I think it may mean "the bell from that particular ship" to distinguish it from any other ship's bell or any other bell.
Edit: Could be, in case of theft or loss of the bell (would make it easier to find and restore to the ship). Though of course, someone could possibly rub that writing off with a file or other tool.
edit: native Tamil speaker also contributing
I was on a trip to Malaysia recently and met many native Chinese speakers who reply "Can" when you ask them something like "Can you meet me at 5 tomorrow?". I asked him why they don't say "Yes" and he said that in Chinese, that would sound really silly.
I imagine it's similar to writing "Sword of so and so" on a weapon rather than just writing ones name. In some languages, it's more... regal.
It reads phonetically as "MugayatheenPak Udaya Kappal Mani".
The translation is spot on.
Source: I'm a native speaker from Tamil Nadu.
Wow, first time I've heard of it. Read some of the article. Seems like Malayalam, Sinhalese and one or two other languages are derived from Grantha, and Tamil is a sister language of it.
Also interesting is that the article says that at some period, some documents were written in a mixture of Sanskrit and Grantha, sometimes mixing them even in the same word(!)
Edit: IIRC, I also first got to know about the Modi script via some earlier thread on HN:
Ud-deen means of the religion. So, there are many names like Tajuddeen (crown of the religion), Shamsuddeen (Sun of the religion) and in this case, Muhiyyudeen (vivifier? of religion).
Mujahid is a person is a person who engages in jihad. The plural is Mujahideen (which is quite different when written in arabic but dramatically similar when transliterated into english). https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mujahid
I wonder, what means Bak? Big?
"Australia experienced a wave of migration from India about 4,000 years ago, a genetic study suggests."
Nearer to me, the Tiwi islands just off the coast of North Australia have unearthed jade figurines and artifacts that seem to originate from China or another Asian country, which date back to before the time of Captain Cook.
Update: Article on early Chinese explorers reaching Australia a long time before Dutch or English explorers - http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/11/24/1037697982893.h...
This is a side tangent: I remember learning as a kid that legends had it that "gods" came out from the sea and taught the first Palauans skills and craft, like how to cook and fish, make canoes, build houses and all those sorts of things. That mixed with the above always lead me to believe those "gods" were just visitors from other islands or lands. Also, realize the island was no more than 60 miles from northern most point to southern most point, but my ancestors believed the universe ended a couple of miles beyond those tips on either end, so they didn't really conceive of other places or people. Our language does share strikingly similarities with some Indonesian words, and I've seen pictures of their ancient architecture which look eerily like some of ours. I'm not sure what makes more sense though, explorers randomly marooning and imparting knowledge and skills while integrating, or that the first settlers who would become my ancestors just bringing their culture and craft with them. The latter makes much more sense I guess from a logical perspective.
Makes you wonder if the "gods" that other religions worship(ped) were also just visitors from elsewhere with superior technology... Of course, there's no physical evidence for this, but it does make me wonder.
The conclusions in that article are exceptionally controversial. From https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavin_Menzies
> Within the academic world, the book (and Menzies' "1421 hypothesis") is dismissed by sinologists and professional historians. In 2004, historian Robert Finlay severely criticized Menzies in the Journal of World History for his "reckless manner of dealing with evidence" that led him to propose hypotheses "without a shred of proof". Finlay wrote:
> "Unfortunately, this reckless manner of dealing with evidence is typical of 1421, vitiating all its extraordinary claims: the voyages it describes never took place, Chinese information never reached Prince Henry and Columbus, and there is no evidence of the Ming fleets in newly discovered lands. The fundamental assumption of the book—that the Yongle Emperor dispatched the Ming fleets because he had a "grand plan", a vision of charting the world and creating a maritime empire spanning the oceans—is simply asserted by Menzies without a shred of proof ... The reasoning of 1421 is inexorably circular, its evidence spurious, its research derisory, its borrowings unacknowledged, its citations slipshod, and its assertions preposterous ... Examination of the book's central claims reveals they are uniformly without substance."
> A group of scholars and navigators—Su Ming Yang of the United States, Jin Guo-Ping and Malhão Pereira of Portugal, Philip Rivers of Malaysia, Geoff Wade of Singapore—questioned Menzies' methods and findings in a joint message:
> "His book 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, is a work of sheer fiction presented as revisionist history. Not a single document or artifact has been found to support his new claims on the supposed Ming naval expeditions beyond Africa...Menzies' numerous claims and the hundreds of pieces of "evidence" he has assembled have been thoroughly and entirely discredited by historians, maritime experts and oceanographers from China, the U.S., Europe and elsewhere."
 - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-10/old-chinese-coin-found...
Was Australia a part of Indian subcontinent back then?
It makes me ponder whether the owner of the ship was himself cross cultural.
The Arab presence in Southern India actually predates the advent of Islam, so even it's possible (though not likely) that this artifact hails from before that time.
EDIT: TFA notes that the script is datable to 500 years old so it is probably not pre-Islamic.
Edit: I followed the footnote to vol 1 of the NZ Journal of Science where the suggest a Portuguese origin, presumably because of Portuguese saying prowess. In fact of course Tamil Nadu was an initial colonization point of many European invaders, all of whom by definition were sailing nations.
In fact who's to say that the bell didn't arrive within the century preceding Colenso's seeing it?
I think you'll find that today most people with that name are South Asian.
Interesting. I've heard a different version when I studied in South India, that Coromandel  is the anglicized version of karu manal (mannal?) meaning black sand - because there are beaches in the Coromandel Coast that have black (and also red and other color) sand. E.g. At Kanyakumari a.k.a Cape Comorin, the southernmost tip of India, you could buy small plastic bags with multi-colored sand as a souvenir. I remember at least black, normal light brown, red and purple colors.
[ Update: The Wikipedia article says what you say about the name Coromandel:
Similarly, catamaran, I've heard, is from kattu maram - tied tree (trunks). Very stable boats, and that principle is now adopted in modern high-tech catamarans too. 
Once when on a school picnic on that coast, I asked for and got a ride on a catamaran of the local fishermen. We went out quite a way to sea, for maybe half an hour or more. I was sitting on one of the logs in the front, with my legs nearly up to the waist, in the sea. Could feel the water rushing past my legs. Good fun.
Tamil is over 2000 years old and it is fascinating to see how the script has changed from back then to now.
You do understand homo sapiens did not evolve separately on these different continents/lands right?
The actual discovery was when the first homo sapien settled in US, AU, NZ etc.... Of course some cultures managed to travel to these lands long before our history records tells us. Native Americans are not a separate species of homo sapiens, they did not evolve there separately.
Basically there's genetic (Y chromosome) and linguistic evidence suggesting an infusion of Indian immigration (~5000 years ago so maybe a distinct event from this). One plausible explanation is that some Dravidian seafarers crash-landed in Australia and got absorbed by the local population. From their perspective it probably would have felt like sinking into savagery.
This sentence is incongruous with the rest of your post. Why would you think such a thing?
It's hard to argue with given the subcontinent had agricultural, seafaring populations while Australian populations never made it past Paleolithic hunter-gathering.
If you don't know him, he's a total weirdo. But, like so many totalitarian weirdoes, he was also a bit of a genius.
Of the mad variety. Mad, but nevertheless interesting.
So, one of his mad genius ideas is that the world has endured a number of cyclic catastrophic events, every 65k years or so, which completely obliterates civilisation and culture and replaces it with naught but refugees and a relatively clean slate. On account of The Deluge.
If you imagine that the Earth, 65k years (or so) ago might've had an Advanced Civilisation, Szukalski is gonna be right alongside, albeit way ahead of you.
One of the things he proposes is that the survivors of The Deluge have inter-mixed, around the globe, and you can see it in ancient art - common themes, originally expressed from a root culture (the 'mother tongue' of the prior civilisation), which eventually degrades over time as entropy - and the shifting oceans of The Deluge - separate us all.
Anyway, Szukalski had some things to say about sea-faring survivors whose language echoes through the ages. If you want a bit of a "Weird Art" kick, because the Tamil Bell is indeed weird art, then take a look at Szukalski. The Protong Lives!
Neither the Wikipedia nor a broader web search addresses this. And Colenso's own wikipedia page doesn't even mention the bell!
Voynich manuscript – Undeciphered book from the 15th century
That sounds incredibly unwieldy.
PS: The word Tamil itself should be pronounced "Tamizh" where zh is a special "La" sound, unique to Tamil language.
3. a pointed instrument used for making marks on wood, bricks, etc., to guide a saw or in signwriting.
Lies spread by Satanist band.
3. a pointed instrument used for making [...]
- Someone misinterprets it as an honest mistake and tries to explain things
- You take on a condescending tone attempting to ^educate^ this obviously clueless person who doesn't know what word they ought to be using
- Someone patiently points out that it is you who is wrong
- You now use humour and pretend to be dismissive (instead of either not saying anything or acknowledging that yes, you did learn something new).
Bravo! Now everyone knows just how witty and smart you can be!
> On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.
If it's #1 on the front page, people most likely find it interesting (or voting ring; but the mods have some practice spotting those).