Image: Lynn Fawcett
Image: Lynn Fawcett

This is a pictograph of a marbled polecat. The animal is depicted in an alarmed stance, on raised legs, with the tail up and forward over the back. When alarmed, the polecat may emit a foul-smelling secretion from glands under the tail. Other key identifiers for this animal are the long neck and the patterned fur.

Illustrative Text Reference:

Harappa: Seal: H-419 a: Sayid Ghulam Mustafa Shah and Asko Parpola, 1991: Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions: Volume 2: Page 270: Collections in Pakistan: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia.


Unfortunately, H-419 is damaged, and only two characters from the inscription have survived. The remaining inscription reads: marbled polecats hanging by the door. This suggests that the people of the Indus Valley Civilisation may have used polecat pelts.

Image Credit:

Marbled Polecat: Lynn Fawcett, 2019.