The Collapse of the Indus-Script

The Collapse of the Indus-Script
1. Identify the author’s thesis or major claims (or, if the article seems to lack a thesis, the author’s purpose in writing the article).
What Farmer’s article is about is the long held idea that Indus script is a written language, Farmer’s attacks that idea. He explains that the symbols used in the recovered Indus texts do not define it as a written script. He then goes on to explain why and how he believes that the myth of a written Harappan/Indus script developed from several thousand recovered Harappan seals.
2. Tell how the author supports his or her thesis. What arguments does the author make, and what kinds of evidence does the author use?
Farmer cites reasons for this 130 year myth which range from the how the scripts were deciphered to lost manuscripts written on perishable material that has since rotted away, but must have existed in the first place. He also explains that limited number of symbols and how few texts/seals have been recovered. He basically states that there is not enough evidence to support the theory if you compare it to other literate civilizations of the same time frame.
3. Tell whether the author successfully demonstrates his or her thesis, and support your judgment.
One way that seems to make a sense is the brevity of the texts, how can texts that range in size from one or two symbols be considered a written script language. Farmer explains that of 2,095 objects that have Indus symbols the average length is only 4.6 signs. He also explains that other than the seals, the script/symbols were not written on other durable material. Other literate civilizations have written texts on buildings, stones, sculptures the Indus do not. Farmer also shows that of the 300-400 different symbols, four symbols account for 21% of Indus texts, eight symbols account for 31% and twenty symbols account for over 50% of texts. He also explains that high sign frequencies and low repetition rates “in single...