Story or History of writing'/Part:21

The discovery of a Neolithic stone celt, a hand-held axe, with the Indus script on it at Sembian-Kandiyur in Tamil Nadu is, according to Iravatham Mahadevan, "a major discovery because for the first time a text in the Indus script has been found in the State on a datable artefact, which is a polished neolithic celt." He added: "This confirms that the Neolithic people of Tamil Nadu shared the same language family of the Harappan group, which can only be Dravidian [or  old Tamil]. The discovery provides the first evidence that the Neolithic people of the Tamil country spoke a
Dravidian language." Mr. Mahadevan, an eminent expert on the subject, estimated the date of the artefact with the Indus script between 2000 B.C. and 1500 B.C.The first Indus sign on the celt showed a skeletal body with ribs, seated on his haunches, body bent, lower limbs folded and knees drawn up. The second sign shows a jar with a handle. The first sign stood for "muruku" and the second for "an." Together, they read as "Murukan." They formed a very frequent combination on the Indus seals and sealings, especially from Harappa. "`Muruku' and 'an' are shown hundreds of times in the Indus script found at Harappa. This is the importance of the find at Sembiyan-Kandiyur. Not only do the Neolithic people of Tamil Nadu and the Harappans share the same script but the same language." said  Mr. Mahadevan, one of the world's foremost scholars on the Indus and the Tamil-Brahmi scripts 

".............You are the best Vēlir of the Vēlir clan,
with a heritage of forty-nine generations of Vēlirs
who gave without limits,
who ruled Thuvarai with a fort with tall, huge walls
that were made of copper, the city that appeared in
the sacrificial pit of a northern sage.
O king who is victorious in battles! ..................."
[Purananuru 201 

An early reference to migration of Velirs from Tuvarai or Dwarka in a Sangam classic, Purananuru (poem 201) about 49 generations before poet Kapilar, offers a valid information that they should have brought late Harappn symbols along with them for writing and findings of many Indus graffiti from 1500 BC to almost medieval period corroborates this literary evidence. Slowly some of the Indus logographs got transformed into logosyllabic or logophonetic to make writing easy. 

Also,another poem,Purananuru 202,confirm that Harappa was destroyed as below.Here Harappa was called as Araiyam as per Iravatham Mahadevan and  P.L.Samy.

"O Pulikatimāl with a bright garland,
who inherited fully wealth and great rights
from your father!  Araiyam was destroyed,
the city belonging to your ancestors,
long standing ancient place with two names,
victorious, and of faultless fame,
that helped your family with millions of stacked
pieces of gold, ..................."
[Purananuru 202]   

Kapilar was annoyed when lrunko vel [இருங்கோவேள்] refused to take the daughters of Pari into his protective custody. Kapilar showed his displeasure by reminding the king of the destruction of Ihe great and rich city ruled by his remote ancestors, as one of them incurred the displeasure of a poet (Purananuru 202 : 6-8). While narrating this legend, Kapilar describes the ancicnt city as 'இருபாற் பெயரிய வருகெழு மூதூர்க்' / 'ancicnt city of fearsome (reputation) divided into two parts'.The Old Commentator adds that the ancient city was divided into two halves called Per-araiyam and Cirr-ariyam [பேரரையம், சிற்றரையம்,'அரை'/'Arai' means half] . This reminds one of the Harappan city divided into citadel and lower town. On the basis of this evidence, P.L.Samy  identified Araiyam with  Harappa. His suggestion is interesting and worth pursuing,There is, however, no doubt that the Puram 202 legend of the destruction of an ancient and exceedingly wealthy city with twin settlements does evoke the image of a Harappan bipartite city and the collapse of the Indus Civilisation.

[Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]

Part:22 will follow


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