Three Seals [Backs], Harappa 17

"The discovery at Harappa of the very remarkable seal illustrated in figure 1 of Cunningham's Plate XXXIII in this volume [see Image 2 above] and later of a few more now in the British Museum, suggested that at this site we have the remains of a city of very great antiquity and of seemingly quite peculiar culture, as the legends on the Harappa seals are one and all totally unlike any other form of script known in India. The desirability of continuing the exploration of the remains begun on so small a scale many years ago by Cunningham was of course obvious from the first.

"A seal found in this building is reproduced in Plate XIII [backs shown above, front]. One of the other seals of the same type, also shown in the illustration, were found at the other end of the trench [A, Mound F], and it is to be presumed that the fragmentary structural remains uncovered here and there in the intervening area are contemporary with these matrices. Like the seal published by Cunningham, all these new ones exhibit the device of a bull, without the hump so universal in Indian cattle, and legends in the same inscrutable script, to the interpretation of which we have as yet no manner of clue."

- John Marshall, Annual Report of the Director-General of Archaeology in India, 1920-21, p. 15-16.

"The rounded boss with a single incised line is distinctive of seals from Period 3B at Harappa. See for more discussion Kenoyer J. M. & Meadow R. H. 2010. Inscribed objects from Harappa Excavations: 1986-2007, pages xliv-lviii. in A. Parpola, Pande B. M. & Koskikallio P. (eds.), Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions, Vol. 3. New Material, untraced objects, and collections outside India and Pakistan, Annales Academiae Scientiarum Gennicae. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia."

- Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, 2021.

ASI Description: 

A. 214 Seal matrix See p. 1.

A. 263 Seal die (1 1/2" square). The inscription which is in reversed countersunk characters consists of one line. Upper left corner is broken. [back of seal]

[Appendix D] 2817 Seals Nos. A 214 and A 263 found during my excavations and another seal with only three characters or symbols obtained by Mr. Y. R. Gupte. [backs of seals]

[Original caption] Three seals. No. A214 A 263 and third with three characters and symbols.

ASI Number: 
Silver Plate: 
(Item) Serial Number: 
A 214, A 263
Find spot: 
23 x [2?]
6 x 19
Depth (ft.): 
Depth (in.):