Image: Iravatham Mahadevan
Image: Iravatham Mahadevan

This is a pictograph of a blade body (one or more blades would be inserted into the curved body) and a flint blade. Hence, it is the verb to cut. The symbol shares a common root with the Chinese character dāo 刂.

Illustrative Text Reference:

Mohenjo-daro: Seal: M-307 a: Jagat Pati Joshi and Asko Parpola, 1987: Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions: Volume 1: Page 76: Collections in India: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia.


The shape of the symbol resembles a sickle. The technology for such tools is very old. A 7,000 year old boxwood sickle with a curved end for catching the stalks was found at La Draga¹.

Image Credit:

Indus Script Sign Number 2065: List of Sign Variants: Iravatham Mahadevan, 1977: The Indus Script: Texts, Concordance and Tables: The Director General Archaeological Survey of India.


1. Josep Tarrus, 2008: La Draga (Banyoles, Catalonia) an Early Neolithic Lakeside Village in Mediterranean Europe: Figure 18: Catalan Historical Review, 1, p.28: Accessed: 15 November 2017.