Seals of Indus valley civilization Upsc

Seals of Indus valley civilization

Seals of Indus valley civilization found by Archaeologists are in thousands in numbers. Also referred to as ‘seals of Harappan civilization‘ are mostly made of steatite and sometimes made of agate, chert, copper, faience, and terracotta with figures of animals.

Animals on the seal include the Unicorn bull, rhinoceros, tiger, elephant, bison, goat, buffalo, etc. These seals have a remarkable rendering of animals in different moods. Seals of Indus valley civilization are made mainly used for commercial purposes. These are used as amulets by persons of their such as modern-day Identity cards.

The standard Harappan seals are of size 2×2 square inches and are made of steatite and every seal is engraved in a pictorial script which is not deciphered yet.

Some of these were made from Ivory. The seal has pictures of animals and also some kinds of monsters and sometimes human figures, trees, etc also were engraved in it.

Also, two Antelopes were seen below the seat of the human figure. These Seals of the Indus valley civilization are dated between 2500 to 1900 BCE and are found in Mohenjodara, Pakistan.

Also, square or rectangular copper tablets are found on one side there is a human or animal figure and on the other side, there are inscriptions. This tablet appears to Amulet.

Pashupati Seal

Seals of Indus valley civilization
Delhi Pashupati Seal with Erected Male Organ By Ismoon (talk) 18:08, 21 February 2012 (UTC) – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18453945

The Pashupati seal is a famous one, some scholars call it a female deity. This has a human figure in a seated position – cross-legged, on the right side of the human figure there is an elephant and a tiger and on the left side there buffalo and rhinoceros are engraved.

Significance of Pashupati Seal

The Pashupati seal is identified as an early version of Shiva (Hindu God) or his predecessor Rudra. Pashupati is described in Vedas as guardians of cattle that have been domesticated.

But this Pashupati seal which is 4000 year old, show a man or woman surrounded by wild such as a tiger or rhino.

There are two seals of Pasupathi available. One is a famous one in Delhi and the other is a less popular Pasupathi seal in Islamabad. The Delhi Pashupati, seal depicted above has an Ithyphallic (Erected Male organ).

This erected male organ is similar to the form of Lakulish, a Tantrik form of Shiva.

The Islamabad Pashupati seal has horns and tree branches on the headdress and shows a downward-pointing triangle that might be representing a Female organ. Also, this seal does not have any animal.

The Lord we are familiar with does have horns on his head. Some researchers speculated that this became the crescent moon in Shiva’s Head.

Also, the Pashupati seal found in Delhi and Islamabad, shows the Pashupati deity wearing bangles on both arms. So this image is male, female or transgender is a question mark yet to be answered.

Animals on Pashupati seal

An elephant and a tiger are on the left side of pasupathi while a rhinoceros and a buffalo are seen on the right side.

Unicorn Seals

unicorn seal of harappan civilization
Unicorn Seals of Indus valley civilisation

The Unicorn seal is one of the most common motifs on the Indus seal. This unicorn represents a mythical animal of greek and roman sources, that has a connection to the Indian subcontinent.

There are up to eight symbols on the top of the seal. These unicorns have elongated bodies and slender arching necks with tails and bovine hooves.

There is a pipal leaf-shaped blanket over the unicorn. A collar encircles the throat of the animal. Also in front of the unicorn, there is water or sacred liquid along the bottom of the bowl to offer some rituals.

Bull seal of Indus valley civilization

bull seal of harappan civilization
Bull seal of Indus valley civilization

The bull seal is one of the most impressive motifs found in the Indus. This majestic zebu bull is carved on a large seal with short inscriptions. This humped bull has appeared on painted pottery and figurines.

This zebu bull may symbolise the leader of the herd for its strength or a sacrificial animal. It is mainly found or almost exclusively at Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa.

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* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.
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