Image: Lynn Fawcett
Image: Lynn Fawcett

This is a pictograph of a wine vessel. It has two small posts at the rim. The end of each post is capped. The posts were used to suspend a fine cloth, through which the wine was poured in order to filter out residue from the brewing process.

In the middle of the pictograph, the scribe has added a point of light, which signifies that the statement is true. In other words, any impurities have been removed.

Hence, this Indus symbol is an ideograph for the adjective pure or refined.

Illustrative Text Reference:

Mohenjo-daro: Tablet Incised Copper: M-2054 B: Asko Parpola, B. M. Pande, and Petteri Koskikallio, 2010: Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions: Volume 3,1: Page 115: New material, untraced objects, and collections outside India and Pakistan: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia.


It is interesting that this symbol is the only Indus sign on side B of M-2054, which suggests that it refers to the purity of the copper.


The vessel may have been similar to the Chinese jué 爵, which was used for millet wine. It also resembles the jiǎ 斝, which was a wine pot with a different shape. Each of these archaic Chinese containers had the two distinctive zhù 柱 posts with the capped ends.

Image Credit:

Pure: Lynn Fawcett, 2018.