According to Rajaram, the script is both pictorial and alphabetic;
alphabets are, however, favoured to the pictures in the later stages. He also
finds close connection between the Brahmi and the Indus script. Surprisingly,
most of the writing is from left to right and not the other way as was earlier
thought. However, right to left writing is not unknown, and a few long seals
also follow the ‘boustrophedon’ method, i.e. writing in the reverse direction
in alternative lines. Yet another significant point made by him is that many
ancient scripts like Phoenician, various Aramaics and Hemiaretic are
connected to, or even derived from, Harappan. This is contrary to the
currently held view that all alphabetic writing descended from Phoenician in
the late second millennium BC.
They are the greatest artistic creations of the Indus people. Made invariably
of steatite (soft stone), they range in size from half an inch to just over two-
and-half inches. The technique of cutting and polishing these seals with white
lustre was a unique invention of the Harappans. Though there are different
types of seals (such as the square, rectangular, button, cubical, cylinder and
round types), only two of them are the main types—the square type with a
carved animal and inscription on it, and the rectangular type with an
inscription only. Each seal had a different emblem and name or a brief
inscription. Emblems generally depicted animals or what appear to be scenes
from religious legends.
    The animal most frequently encountered on the seals is a humpless bull,
shown in profile with its horns superimposed on each other and pointing
forward. Owing to this feature it has generally been called a unicorn
(ekasringa). The animal interests us for two reasons: first because it would
appear to be a relation of Bos primigenius rather than of Bos indicus’, second
because it may be that the Indus unicorn was a mythical rather than a real
beast. The less common representations of Indian humped cattle in terracotta
must indicate that these were the main breed in the region. The Bos indicus is
never accorded the honour of a ‘standard’, suggesting that sacred status was
given only to the humpless breed.
    In front of the beast stands a short decorated post (variously interpreted as