Image: Iravatham Mahadevan
Image: Iravatham Mahadevan

My assumption is that this ideograph represents a stage in silk production known as throwing. The filaments coiled around the pack symbols are reeled silk. The filaments leaving the upper reel are being twisted in a clockwise direction, whilst those leaving the lower reel are being twisted in a counter-clockwise direction. This suggests the production of crepe thread, whereby the threads are twisted one way, then doubled and twisted in the opposite direction. Hence, this is the noun silk crepe.

Illustrative Text Reference:

Mohenjo-daro: Seal: M-802 a: Sayid Ghulam Mustafa Shah and Asko Parpola, 1991: Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions: Volume 2: Page 68: Collections in Pakistan: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia.


There is only one extant example of this Indus sign.

Image Credit:

Indus Script Sign Number 1182: List of Sign Variants: Iravatham Mahadevan, 1977: The Indus Script: Texts, Concordance and Tables: The Director General Archaeological Survey of India.