Seals

Ancient Indus Valley civilization seals

Seal Signs

Although the Indus Valley script is still undeciphered, there is some agreement among a number of leading scholars that it represents some sort of proto-Dravidian language common in South India today.

Amulet

In addition to any commercial functions, the seal may also have designated a position of authority. The motif on the seal could also have been an amulet or charm.

The seal itself was probably worn around the neck, with a chord passed through the boss

Trough

The unicorn always has this object in front of it. There are at least five theories about this object. Mackay and Marshall thought it was the feeding trough or "manger" still seen in Sindh today.

Unicorn Seal

This unicorn seal was also discovered during the late 1927-31 excavations at Mohenjo-daro. One theory holds that the bull actually has two horns, but that these have been stylized to one because of the complexity of depicting three dimensions.

The Unicorn

If the figure does represent a cattle species, the clearly carved collar, garland and necklace could help explain its function. Sacrificial animals in village India are often garlanded and decorated similarly today.

Boss

Mackay writes that most of the bosses on the backs of seals had the same size and shape. The perforation always runs in the direction of the animal's body, to help keep the seal upright when worn around the neck.

The boss is centered on the back and

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