Articles on inscriptions, the script or sign system, iconography and writing in the Indus Valley Civilization.

Private Person or Public Persona? Use and Significance of Standard Indus Seals as Markers of Formal Socio-Economic Identities

This deeply investigative article published in Walking with the Unicorn (2018) takes on some of the most unusual facts about ancient Indus seals to surmise about their function in the Indus polity as a whole.

The Murghabo-Bactrian Archaeological Complex and the Indus Script

An interesting article in which the author discusses the existence of Indus-type seals in the Gulf and Mesopotamian regions, their relationship to trade and other civilizations in the area, including the Central Asian Bronze Age civilization now better known as the BMAC (Bactrio-Margiana Archaeological Complex). After carefully reviewing the evidence for Indus settlers in ancient Mesopotamia, and their use Indus-type seals whose signs are ordered in ways not found within the Indus region proper, she discusses the relationships they may still have had with Indus peoples back home and the role of different kinds of writing in this relationship.

The Harappan Unicorn in Eurasian and South Asian perspectives

"My conclusion," writes the Indus script scholar Asko Parpola, "is that the Indian Rsyasrnga legend goes back to the Harappan religion, where the unicorn bull depicted on thousands of seals has a real local animal, the nilgai antelope, called rsya in Sanskrit. His single horn, the length of which is exaggerated, has a phallic connotation and emphasizes the importance of this animal as a symbol of fertility."


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