Image: Lynn Fawcett
Image: Lynn Fawcett

This Indus sign resembles a leaf from archaic variants of the Chinese word mén 門, which Xu Shen said was comprised of two 戶¹. It is a door or gate leaf.

In the context of the example from Lothal below, the symbol is an ideograph for the verb to open.

Illustrative Text Reference:

Lothal: Seal: L-86 a: Jagat Pati Joshi and Asko Parpola, 1987: Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions: Volume 1: Page 258: Collections in India: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia.


There is only one extant example of this Indus sign.


It is interesting to note that Champollion states that a pictograph of a door leaf was used as an ideograph for the verb to open². Although, the Egyptian symbol for a door leaf differs from the Indus symbol, this is an example of common usage for the equivalent character in the two scripts.

Image Credit:

Door Leaf: Lynn Fawcett, 2017.


1. Xu Shen, 121: Shuowen Jiezi (Explaining and Analysing Characters).


2. Jean-François Champollion le jeune, 1841: Dictionnaire égyptien en écriture hiéroglyphique: Chapter 5: Edifices en Construction: Paragraph 260: Manuscript Page 251: Firmin Didot, Paris.