New discovery in Tamil Nadu

George Hart glhart at BERKELEY.EDU
Sun Jun 28 00:42:32 UTC 2009


This is quite interesting, because it suggests that writing followed  
commerce into a rather remote area of Tamil Nadu around the 1st  
century BCE.  (It should also be noted that there is some dispute  
about whether the symbols are actually writing -- a disagreement quite  
familiar to most of us who have been following the IV "writing").  In  
any event, writing or not, this find is consistent with what is  
described in Sangam literature. Also notable is the word for  
"diamond" (if the writing decipherment is correct) as vayra < vajra,  
through Prakrit.  But the most interesting part of this is something  
no one mentions in the article -- the discovery of stirrups.  I'm  
hardly an expert on this, but Wikipedia says that stirrups are  
depicted about the 1st century BCE in Sanchi, and that is 500 years  
before anywhere else.  G. Hart

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