The Indus Seals: An Overview of Iconography and Style

Fired steatite button seal with four concentric circle designs from the Trench 54 area discovered at Harappa (H2000-4432/2174-3).

This paper examines the nature of Indus seals and the different aspects of seal iconography and style in order to better understand their overall role in the Indus civilization. Although seals have a very specific function that involves the stamping of a design or motif on another material, they also represent a unique aspect of graphic design in the Indus civilization. Many of the designs and motifs seen o n seals have links to earlier pottery motifs and petroglyphic carvings that date to earlier periods. Other motifs appear to have been invented or modified during the period of the Indus cities, to meet the needs and reflect the ideology of the Indus people.