Image: Lynn Fawcett
Image: Lynn Fawcett

In this Indus sign, the verb to turn is combined with the classifier for shafts. In pictographic terms, it might be thought of as the aerial view of a horizontal wheel. A straight shaft is attached to the wheel. The team of animals would be attached to the end of the shaft. The shaft is being pulled to the left, so that the wheel turns to the left. Thus, this is an ideograph for an animal powered mechanism.

Illustrative Text Reference:

Mohenjo-daro: Seal: M-67 a: Jagat Pati Joshi and Asko Parpola, 1987: Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions: Volume 1: Page 30: Collections in India: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia.


This is Mahadevan's sign number 235, which I have redrawn to better reflect the original. There is only one extant example of this Indus sign.

It is possible that the sign is the noun for a water raising mechanism similar to a sakia.

Image Credit:

Animal Powered Mechanism: Lynn Fawcett, 2017.