Image: Iravatham Mahadevan
Image: Iravatham Mahadevan

This is a combination of the symbol for the verb to deliver and a pictograph of some flames. Flames give off light, so the symbol is an ideograph for something that provides light. It follows that Mahadevan's sign number 2153 is the noun lamps.

Illustrative Text Reference:

Mohenjo-daro: Seal: M-1898 a: Asko Parpola, B. M. Pande, and Petteri Koskikallio, 2010: Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions: Volume 3,1: Page 74: New material, untraced objects, and collections outside India and Pakistan: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia.


You should note the absence of a central flame. This contrasts with Mahadevan's sign number 2929 (a torchbearer), which does have a central flame. The lack of a central flame supports Jonathan Kenoyer's hypothesis that some Indus figurines were used as lamps¹.

Image Credit:

Indus Script Sign Number 2153: List of Sign Variants: Iravatham Mahadevan, 1977: The Indus Script: Texts, Concordance and Tables: The Director General Archaeological Survey of India.


1. Jonathan Mark Kenoyer: Lamps: Modern Replicas and Female Figurine: Accessed: 16 April 2020.