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Important Discovery in Tamil Nadu

bq. In spectacular finds, the Archaeological Survey of India, Chennai Circle, has unearthed a dozen 2,800-year-old human skeletons intact in urns at Adichanallur, 24 km from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. Three of these urns contain writing resembling the early Tamil Brahmi script. The dozen urns containing the skeletons form a part of about 100 fully intact urns unearthed in various trenches at the site, where excavation is under way. The urns were found at a depth of two to three metres. The finds may revolutionise theories about the origin of ancient culture in Tamil Nadu and the origin of writing in South Asia.

bq. Dr. Sathyamurthy said that the Brahmi script of around 500 B.C. had been found in Sri Lanka. Dr. S.U. Deraniyagala, former Director-General and now Consultant to the Archaeological Survey Department, Sri Lanka, called the discovery of the writing on the urns at Adichanallur “fantastic” and “very, very important.” The evidence of writing on more than 75 pieces of pottery had been found in Sri Lanka and radio-carbon dating had established that they belonged to the period between 600 B.C. and 500 B.C. This discovery “sheds a completely new light on the origin of writing in South Asia,” said Dr. Deraniyagala. Interestingly, there has been no evidence of habitation close to the cemeteries (burial sites) discovered there. [“The Hindu”:http://www.hindu.com/2004/05/26/stories/2004052602871200.htm]

This discovery gives us more information on life in Tamil Nadu, about 3 centuries before the time of Buddha.

2 Responses to Important Discovery in Tamil Nadu

  1. Kingsley May 26, 2004 at 11:45 am #

    Why is it still called Tamil “Brahmi” then, when it pre-dates Asoka’s Brahmi script?

  2. Das May 26, 2004 at 2:08 pm #

    The Brahmi script was the ancestor of all South Asian writing systems. So, Asoka’s Brahmi did not origininate during Asoka’s rule.

    In fact, I don’t even think that there is any script called “Asoka’s Brahmi” – he just used Brahmi script to write his edicts, that’s all.

    Quite an interesting find this … I wonder if this rewrites history.

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