Proposed sign lists

As long as nobody can read a script, there remains a lot of uncertainty on the signs, it encompasses: is it the same sign, which occurs in two texts if it looks similar at both places, but not equal (for example, a comb like sign in one of the texts with 4 strokes, where the sign in the other text only has 3)?

So to give lists of sign candidates is an essential (and hard) first work to study the script. Such lists remain in a state of flux - new texts show new signs, deeper study unites sign candidates into one or splits one up into some.
Because a lot of subjectivity is unavoidable in this process, different scholars are proposing different sign lists.
Much work has been done on these field in the last decades by the Indian resp. Finnish scholars Iravatham Mahadevan and Asko Parpola.

The best sign list nowadays (autumn 2001) seems to be that from

Asko Parpola
Deciphering the Indus script
Cambridge, 1994
But there seems to be no reading public available yet for all known Indus script texts, using this sign list. ("Reading" means here: representation by a given sign list.)
Older sign lists with readings of (nearly) all texts known at their time are available in
Iravatham Mahadevan
The Indus script
Texts, Concordances and Tables
New Delhi, 1977
Seppo Koskenniemi, Asko Parpola, Simo Parpola
Materials for the study of the Indus script, I
A concordance to the Indus inscriptions
Helsinki 1973
Kimmo Koskenniemi, Asko Parpola
A concordance to the texts in the Indus script
Helsinki 1982
Notwhithstanding that these signs lists are partially outdated, to be able to work with them is necessary for using aforementioned text readings.

last change: 20. Sep. 2002