Image: Lynn Fawcett
Image: Lynn Fawcett

This Indus sign resembles the noun city. However, the main roads have been replaced by pictographs of tracks. This indicates that the symbol depicts a residential area composed of alleyway houses. Within each house is a line, which denotes a shorter path representing an entrance passage or corridor. Therefore, this Indus symbol translates as entrance passages.

Illustrative Text Reference:

Mohenjo-daro: Seal: M-255 a: Jagat Pati Joshi and Asko Parpola, 1987: Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions: Volume 1: Page 62: Collections in India: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia.


You should note how each passage terminates at the threshold. This contrasts with the lines used to mark city gates in other Indus symbols, where the line crosses the boundary. In this way, the Indus symbols make a clear distinction between a public thoroughfare and access to a private space.

Image Credit:

Entrance Passages: Lynn Fawcett, 2018.