Origins of Tamils?[Where are Tamil people from?] PART:42

 [Compiled by: Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]
Poulnabrone dolmen in the Burren, County Clare, Ireland
In the earliest times, people lived in caves or or in tents like the Inuit's tupik  or in huts.Early building materials were perishable, such as leaves, branches, and animal hides[Hides include leather from cattle and other livestock animals,]but eventually they learned on to use natural substances they found around them to build simple dwellings. Mud and clay were among the first building materials used. The adhesive quality of clay made it easy to work with and form into shapes.walls can be built up in lumps, a technique known in Arabic as tau! and normally called pise in English. Logs, sticks, thatch, brush [ broken or cut  branches or twigs];and wood were also used for early construction purposes. Near the Arctic, the Inuit used ice to build igloo homes. And uncut rocks and large stones were also often used.

Once human beings settle down to the business of agriculture, instead of hunting and gathering, permanent settlements become a factor of life.The tent-like structures of earlier times evolve now into round houses. The roof of each room, still in the tent style, is a conical structure of branches and mud ('wattle and daub).One such small settlement evolves as early as 8000 BC at Jericho,a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank.Also,by 6500BC at ."CATAL HUYUK " town  in southern Anatolia  We found a rectangular houses,made of mud bricks with windows but no doors. They adjoin each other, and the entrance to each is through the roof & here,roofs have acted as streets too!

The type of house early people built depended a lot on where you
lived.Places,where it was hot all the time, and wood was very scarce such as west asia[Such as Iraq/Ancient Mesopotamia],People there mostly built houses of mud-brick, and the houses were mostly a wall around an open courtyard, with some small rooms built around the edges of the courtyard to keep stuff in and to go into when it rained (which wasn't very often). These are called "courtyard houses." Here the animals would be kept in the courtyards, which often had a well or a cistern[Cisterns are often built to catch and store rainwater] in the middle to collect water. The roofs were usually flat, so people could sleep on them and keep cool.

Though,Many people lived in houses just like one of these all the way through the medieval period,Around 3500 BC People living in the area between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers (modern Iraq) began to build really big, substantial buildings/better houses.Because there's practically no building stone in this area, but there's lots of clay, Sumerian architects built their buildings out of mud-brick or fired brick.While mud was the most widely available building material, the date palm of southern mesopotamia & other trees elsewhere provided a source of timber that could be used for roofing normal-sized rooms.In Ur and Uruk, there are palaces for the kings: these are mostly bigger versions of courtyard houses, with many courtyards and rooms all around each courtyard.

It was possibly  in Ancient Mesopotamia  when man first found out that clay could be dried and shaped in the sun to make a building material. The first kind of bricks made and used were the mud “ bricks. These bricks were made from a mixture of mud and small pieces of straw or reeds.Leaving them out in the sun to dry would harden them. This would take most of the water out of the brick making it more durable.The straw stops the bricks from cracking as they dry. Sometimes gravel or other material is used instead of straw. Bricks are normally made in May to June after harvest, when there is little danger of rain and when straw is available. The shape and size of the mud-bricks varied from period to period and thus the type of bricks in a building can sometimes help to determine its date.Initially,architects didn't know how to make a big building stay up if it was hollow inside, so the first big buildings are solid - like a sand-castle - rather than really useful as buildings. They're more like artificial hills. This is the same as the Egyptian pyramids  and are also pretty much solid inside.Mostly what they built was huge staircases of mud-brick which are called ziggurats. Each little city-state would build its own ziggurat, partly to please the gods and partly to show how powerful the town was. On top of each ziggurat, there was a small temple to Ishtar or Anu or another Mesopotamian god.The Sumerians also built town walls around their towns, which were also built mainly out of mud-brick, and which could also be solid. (In fact fortification walls pretty much have to be solid!).

Mud bricks work well when they are being compressed (compression forces) but a cake of mud is easily broken if it is bent (bending forces). This is because the act of bending places a tension force on one edge.At the same time Straw has a great deal of tensile strength (resistance to pulling forces) but it is very weak when crumpled. These early builders were realised  that if straw, which has a good tensile strength was embedded in a block of mud, which has good compressive strength and left to dry the resulting brick would resist both tearing and squeezing.Hence,The walls were made of mud, the floors were made of mud, even the roofs were made of mud.Mud also made a strong mortar and an effective plaster for walls, and roofs. This is not surprising Without mud there would have been no pottery,no clay tablets, and no Mesopotamian civilization. 

Over 2000 years old sangam literature also mentioned about Mud bricks in selected few poems.Few of such tamil poems are given below with explanations if needed.

"The streets where  famed warriors with great strength live are rutted
Mud Hut
with the constant movement of chariots [397] .............................The gates to the town are never closed, enabling  the business of giving and taking to occur without hindrances[400]...............The outer walls of tall, large house are made with burnt bricks[405]"-Perumpanatruppadai

Here burnt brick is called as:சுடுமண் and tall, large house is called as:ஓங்கிய நெடுநகர்

"an elephant with large trunk eats murungai (Moringa oleifera/drumstick tree) and rubs its high back and nape on an old, ruined building with small rooms, loosening bricks on its tall walls, its cross beams have fallen down,"-Akananuru 167

Here, சிறுபுறம் – tall backside/nape, உரிஞ – rub, ஒல்கி இட்டிகை – loose bricks, நெடுஞ்சுவர் – tall wall, விட்டம் – cross beams,

Not only that,from the following sangam poems,We find that houses in sangam period have built with pillars and the roofs have thatched with  leaves and grasses

 [ dolmens erected by Neolithic people in Kerala]
"You grasp a fine pillar in my small house you ask me, “Where is your son?” -Purananuru 86

Here,சிற்றில் நற்றூண் பற்றி means:– holding onto a fine pillar in a small house

"you have allowed to live in houses with four stilts, their roofs thatched with koovai leaves."-Purananuru 29

Here,கூவை துற்ற – thatched with koovai leaves, arrowroot leaves, நாற் கால் – four legs, பந்தர் – roof, சிறு மனை – small houses,

"and in every settlement, in the huts roofed with grass,they share the clarified toddy that has been buried and matured in liquor jars, "-Purananuru 120

Here,நிலம் புதை – buried in the earth, பழுனிய – abundant, mature, மட்டின் தேறல் – aged alcohol, புல் வேய் – thatched with grass, குரம்பை – huts, குடி தொறும் பகர்ந்து – share with everyone in the settlements,



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