Image: Iravatham Mahadevan
Image: Iravatham Mahadevan

This is a pictograph of two leaves and a bud. It is the noun tea. This Indus sign shares a common root with the Naxi (Dongba) symbol for tea.

Illustrative Text Reference:

Mohenjo-daro: Seal: M-626 a:  Sayid Ghulam Mustafa Shah and Asko Parpola, 1991: Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions: Volume 2: Page 7: Collections in Pakistan: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia.


Only the young leaves and the bud at the tip of a tea shrub shoot are harvested. That is exactly what is pictured. A small portion of the stem with two leaves and the bud attached would produce a very fine tea.

Image Credit:

Indus Script Sign Number 400: Sign List of the Indus Script: Iravatham Mahadevan, 1977: The Indus Script: Texts, Concordance and Tables: The Director General Archaeological Survey of India.