The discovery is significant because this is the first time that the Indus script has been found engraved on a natural stone in the Indus Valley. The Indus script has so far been found on seals made of steatite, terracotta tablets, ceramics and so on. Dholavira also enjoys the distinction of yielding a spectacularly large Indus script with 10 big signs on wood. This inscription was three-metre long.
Both the discoveries were made by a team led by R.S. Bisht, who retired as Joint Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India in 2004. While the stone inscription was discovered in 1999, the script with 10 large signs was found in 1991.
“The inscription on stone is unique because it is the first of its kind [in the Indus civilisation area]. It is the first inscription on a stone slab. But only part of it was found,” said Dr. Bisht, who led 14 field excavation seasons at Dholavira from 1989 to 2001. “It was a natural limy sandstone cut into shape and then engraved with an inscription,” he said.
The signs are seven cm tall and 6-10 cm wide.