Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
A writing system or script that appeared as a fully developed universal system in Asia c. third century BCE. It is believed to be the ancestor of later South Asian and Southeast Asian scripts. The earliest evidence of the use of the script is from the pillar and rock-cut edicts of Ashoka, dated c. 250–232 BCE. It was first deciphered in 1837 by James Prinsep, an archaeologist with the East India Company.