[INDOLOGY] Help with script

Stefan Baums baums at lmu.de
Mon Jun 10 15:16:31 UTC 2013

Dear Ken and Christophe,

Jean‐Claude is quite right that Kharoṣṭhī (besides Greek and
Brāhmī) would be an expected script for the early seal
inscriptions from Pakistan, and that usually the Indian‐language
ones contain the name of their owner in the genitive case. I find
it very difficult, however, to see any Kharoṣṭhī letter shapes in
this seal, either in negative or in positive orientation. (Judging
from the earlier seals, the letters should be formed by the
grooves of the seal and protrude from the sealing, i.e., be the
lighter lines in the images.)

The two‐line arrangement of the inscription and particularly the
humanoid artwork on the knob of the seal also strike me as very
different from the early Kharoṣṭhī and Brāhmī seals of the
northwest, which usually draw on Greek, Scythian and Indian
motifs. A good overview of early Gandhāran seals is provided by
the following recent publication:

   Aman ur Rahman and Harry Falk. 2011. Seals, Sealings and Tokens
   from Gandhāra. Monographien zur indischen Archäologie, Kunst
   und Philologie, Band 21 / Studies in the Aman ur Rahman
   Collection, Volume 1. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag.

I am not sure what exactly _is_ the script of this seal, and don’t
want to speculate blindly, but would consider non‐Indian writing
systems (or even a forgery).

All best,

Dr. Stefan Baums
Institute for Indian and Tibetan Studies
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list