What is the Indus Dictionary Project?

The Indus Dictionary Project is an offshoot of the Cave Script Translation Project. The Cave Script Translation Project website can be found at: www.cavescript.org.

Chinese Pictograms:

"Pictograms represented the most concise drawings of men and all things in the Universe¹."

My hypothesis is that the Indus script shares a common root with Chinese and other Sinitic scripts. Some archaic forms of Sinitic characters are a direct match for Indus symbols. This gave me a starting point for deciphering the Indus script.

Here are two pictographs for the noun mountain. On the left, is an example from the Chinese Bronze script. On the right, is the Indus Script symbol.

For image credits, please see below.

I now have translations for at least five hundred Indus characters. Whilst this may be only around one half of the number of extant Indus characters (my guess is there there are roughly one thousand), it still constitutes a good start.


This not only gives me a fascinating insight into the past, but also makes me appreciate that the Indus symbols are not merely a communication system, but also represent some of the finest examples of graphic and abstract art.

In building this website, my intention is to share my knowledge with others. Students of the script should be able to read many Indus inscriptions in their entirety.


Lynn Fawcett, 4 February 2020.

Image Credits:

Mountain: A variant of the Chinese Bronze script character: Richard Sears, 1994 - 2017: Chinese Etymology: Reference: B14271 (from the book JinWenBian 金文编 by RungGeng 容庚): http://hanziyuan.net/#%E5%B1%B1: Accessed: 27 May 2018.


Mountain: Indus script: Indus Script Sign Number 1459: List of Sign Variants: Iravatham Mahadevan, 1977: The Indus Script: Texts, Concordance and Tables: The Director General Archaeological Survey of India.


1. Cong Wenjun, 2008: An Overview of Ancient Calligraphic Theories: Formation and Foundation of the Nature-Based Theory: Chinese Calligraphy, Ouyang Zhongshi [et al]: Chapter 9, p.
416: Yale University Press.