Asko Parpola

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Asko Parpola
Asko Parpola.jpg
Born 1941 (age 73–74)
Occupation Indologist and Sindhologist

Asko Parpola (born 1941) is a Finnish Indologist and Sindhologist, current professor emeritus of Indology and South Asian Studies at the University of Helsinki. He specializes in the Indus script.


Parpola is a brother of the Akkadian language epigrapher Simo Parpola.[1] He is married to Marjatta Parpola who has authored a study on the traditions of Kerala's Nambudiri Brahmins.[2]


Parpola's research and teaching interests fall within the following topics:

  • Indus Civilization / Indus script and religion / Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions
  • Veda / Vedic ritual / Samaveda / Jaiminiya Samaveda texts and rituals / Purva-Mimamsa
  • South Asian religions / Hinduism / Saiva and Sakta tradition / Goddess Durga
  • South India / Kerala / Tamil Nadu / Karnataka
  • Sanskrit / Malayalam / Kannada / Tamil / Prehistory of Indian languages
  • Prehistoric archaeology of South Asia and (in broad sense) Central Asia / Coming of the Aryans

Two significant contributions of Parpola, to the field of decipherment of the Indus script, are the creation of the now universally used classification of Indus valley seals, and the proposed, and much-debated, decipherment of the language of the script.[3]


Asko Parpola received the Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Award for 2009 on June 23, 2010 at World Classical Tamil Conference at Coimbatore.


  • 1994: Deciphering the Indus Script, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521430791
  • 2015: The Roots of Hinduism: The Early Aryans and the Indus Civilization, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-022692-3
  • 2008: Is the Indus script indeed not a writing system? In: Airāvati: Felicitation volume in honour of Iravatham Mahadevan: 111–31. VARALAARU.COM, Chennai.


  1. ^ Helsinki University
  2. ^ Freeman, Rich; Parpola, Marjatta (April 2004). "Kerala Brahmins in Transition: A Study of a Namputiri Family". Journal of the American Oriental Society 124 (2): 385. doi:10.2307/4132247. Retrieved 29 July 2015 – via JSTOR. (subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ Mahadevan Interview: Full Text

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