Seals

Seals and tablets with inscriptions from the ancient Indus Valley Civilization.

A Passport from Mohenjo-daro?

"Sealing or token with impression made from a unicorn seal with script. The back is smooth and rounded, suggesting that this object was a certificate or pass representing the seal owner and not something attached to a bundle of goods. Three script signs appear above a unicorn which stands facing right, with a ritual object or offering placed under a head" writes archaeologist Mark Kenoyer about this object found at Mohenjo-daro.

He also writes that "impressions of seals on clay tags and on circular tokens show how the rulers and traders actually used their seals and provide insight into

Four Seals Up Close

A visit to the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi gave me the opportunity to take close shots of four seals from Mohenjo-daro. They show both the exquisite workmanship of Indus craftsmen and the merciless wear, in different degrees, of four thousand years of history.

The Story of the Gulf Type Indus Seal

A very interesting paper by Steffen Terp Laursen, an expert on Dilmun, or the civilization in Bahrain contemporaneous with the ancient Indus civilization, suggests that the round, so-called [Arabian] "Gulf seal", often found with Indus signs and creatures like the short-horned bull and standard, developed from ancient Indus seals and representatives moving westward. Later these types of seals followed their own development trajectory and their Indus iconography. The westward transmission of Indus Valley sealing technology: origin and development of the ‘Gulf Type’ seal and other

An Indus Sign Place Name?

"Following these criteria, at least one Harappan toponym can be isolated with a fair amount of confidence. Altogether 70 Indus insciptions have been recovered from Chanhujo-daro. Eleven of them contain the sign [shown], which is not known from any of the other thousands of Indus inscriptions found at other sites," writes Asko Parpola.

The Harappan Goddess of War?

"The Harappans had a goddess of war connected with the tiger, another large feline that was once native to the Indus Valley. On a cylinder seal from Kalibangan, a goddess in long skirt and plaited hair holds the hands of two warriors in the process of spearing each other."

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