The Scandinavian Institute of Asian Studies was founded as recently as 1967 with a governing body of distinguished scholars appointed by the four contributing countries. With this, its first publication, it has got off to a flying start. Ever since the first specimens of the Indus script were published nearly 40 years ago, it has constituted a standing challenge to scholars with a bent for cryptography. Several attempts have been made to decipher it, but as Sir Mortimer Wheeler remarked, before the publication of this monograph, in The Indus civilization (3rd edition, Cambridge, 1968, p. 107, footnote 2), 'the published attempts to do so are invalid'. This judgement is now due for drastic reconsideration.