Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Porunthal excavations prove existence of Indian scripts in 5th century BC: expert


New results from the analysis of paddy grains found in the Porunthal graveyard archaeological site prove that writing systems in India were in existence in the 5th Century BC, predating the arrival of Asoka, according to history professor at the Pondicherry University and director of the excavation project at Porunthal K. Rajan.

Rice paddy samples that were contained in an engraved pot found inside one of the graves were found to be from 450 BC when analysed using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) by the Beta Analytic Lab, USA, he said, addressing a private gathering organised by the Manarkeni journal.

Earlier, paddy sample from another grave was dated at 490 BC, but many scholars were unwilling to accept evidence obtained from only one sample. The analysis of the second sample proved that Tamil-Brahmi writing existed in the 5th century BC and was not invented in the 3rd century BC as was previously believed by scholars, he said. This was also the first time anyone had discovered Tamil-Brahmi script along with rice in any archaeological site. Scholars were still debating on the exact letters that were written and its meaning, he said.

Another significant discovery from the gravesite is that the paddy samples obtained in the graves in Porunthal were cultivated paddy of the Orissa Satvaika variety, he said.

The Porunthal site is located 12 km South West of Palani and was discovered to have archaeological value in 2006. In 2009-2010, Mr. Rajan and his team of 80 students started excavation at the site, which was divided into two sections – one area for habitation and one area with a graveyard. There were over 100 graves in the region, but with modernisation of the area, several graves have been destroyed and now only 30 graves are still intact, he said.

In the graves that were studied, it was found that while most of the containers found in the graves were made after the person's death, there was one container that showed signs of use. The team also found a pot with around 2 kilos of rice paddy, which had been sealed in airtight containers. These graves also contained a large number of beads, which were predominantly glass. The pottery in the grave was also engraved with Tamil-Brahmi script, he said. In two of the graves, the team found over 11,000 beads, which were made from glass or paste. The beads were originally made in the Vidarbha region, indicating a trade relationship between the two regions, he said.

The team had also unearthed a skeleton adorned with a necklace of beads in one of the graves, but they had not yet analysed the bones, he said. The excavation team also found pottery with a peacock design on it.

In his speech at the event, editor of the Manarkeni journal D. Ravikumar expressed distress at the destruction of various archaeological sites in the Porunthal region by quarries. History scholars T. Subramaniam, K. Vijayavenugopal and Raj Gouthaman spoke.

Palani excavation triggers fresh debate

Did the Tamil-Brahmi script originate in the post-Asokan period, that is, after the 3rd century BCE, or is it pre-Asokan?

Did the Tamil-Brahmi script originate in the post-Asokan period, that is, after the 3rd century BCE, or is it pre-Asokan? A cist-burial excavated in 2009 at Porunthal village, on the foothills of the Western Ghats, 12 km from Palani in Tamil Nadu, has reignited this debate because of the spectacular variety of grave goods it contained.

One of the two underground chambers of the grave was remarkable for the richness of its goods: a skull and skeletal bones, a four-legged jar with two kg of paddy inside, two ring-stands inscribed with the same Tamil-Brahmi script reading “va-y-ra” (meaning diamond) and a symbol of a gem with a thread passing through it, 7,500 beads made of carnelian, steatite, quartz and agate, three pairs of iron stirrups, iron swords, knives, four-legged jars of heights ranging from few centimetres to one metre, urns, vases, plates and bowls. It was obviously a grave that belonged to a chieftain ( The Hindu , June 28, 2009 and Frontline , October 8, 2010).

When K. Rajan, Professor, Department of History, Pondicherry University, excavated this megalithic grave, little did he realise that the paddy found in the four-legged jar would be instrumental in reviving the debate on the origin of the Tamil-Brahmi script. Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dating of the paddy done by Beta Analysis Inc., Miami, U.S.A, assigned the paddy to 490 BCE. “Since all the goods kept in the grave including the paddy and the ring-stands with the Tamil-Brahmi script are single-time deposits, the date given to the paddy is applicable to the Tamil-Brahmi script also,” said Dr. Rajan. So the date of evolution of Tamil-Brahmi could be pushed 200 years before Asoka, he argued.

This dating, done on the Porunthal paddy sent to the U.S. laboratory by Dr. Rajan, took the antiquity of the grave belonging to the early historic age to 490 BCE, he said. It held great significance for Tamil Nadu's history, he added. This was the first time an AMS dating was done for a grave in Tamil Nadu.

There are two major divergent views on the date of Tamil-Brahmi.

While scholars such as Iravatham Mahadevan and Y. Subbarayalu hold the view that Tamil-Brahmi was introduced in Tamil Nadu after 3rd century BCE and it is, therefore, post-Asokan, some others including K.V. Ramesh, retired Director of Epigraphy, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), consider it pre-Asokan.

According to Dr. Rajan, the AMS dating of the Porunthal paddy grains has the following implications: the context of the Tamil-Brahmi goes back to 490 BCE and it is, therefore, pre-Asokan; Tamil Nadu's ancient history can be pushed back to 5th century BCE and it was contemporary to mahajanapadas (kingdoms) such as Avanti, Kosala, Magadha and so on; paddy cultivation goes back to 5th century BCE; and it establishes that the megalithic graves introduced in the Iron Age continued into the early historic times.

When contacted, Mr. Mahadevan, a leading authority on the Tamil-Brahmi and Indus scripts, and Dr. Subbarayalu, Head, Department of Indology, French Institute of Pondicherry, said it was difficult to reach a conclusion on the basis of one single scientific dating.

Mr. Mahadevan described the dating as “interesting” but said “multiple carbon-dates are needed” for confirmation. “If there are several such cases, history has to be re-written because up to now, the scientifically proved earliest date is from Tissamaharama in southern Sri Lanka, where a Tamil-Brahmi script is dated to 200 BCE.” If there is scientific evidence that the paddy is dated to 490 BCE, “we have to sit up and take notice, and wait for confirmation,” Mr. Mahadevan said.

The Asokan-Brahmi is dated to 250 BCE. Megasthenes, the Greek Ambassador to the court of Chandragupta Maurya, Emperor Asoka's grandfather, had stated that the people of Chandragupta Maurya's kingdom did not know how to write and that they depended on memory. Besides, there is no inscription of the pre-Asoka period available. Mr. Mahadevan said: “Supposing a large number of carbon-datings are available from various sites, which will take us to the period of the Mauryas and even the Nandas, we can consider. But to push [the date of the origin of the Tamil-Brahmi script] a couple of centuries earlier with a single carbon-dating is not acceptable because chances of contamination and error are there.”

Dr. Subbarayalu also argued that on the basis of one single scientific dating, it was difficult to reach the conclusion that Tamil-Brahmi was pre-Asokan. There should be more evidence to prove that Tamil-Brahmi was earlier to the time of Asoka, in whose time was available the earliest Brahmi script in north India.

Mr. Mahadevan's conclusion that Tamil-Brahmi is post-Asokan and it had its advent from about the middle of the third century BCE is based on “concrete archaeological as well as palaeographical grounds” and this date is as yet the most reasonable one, in spite of minor points of difference on his dating of individual inscriptions, said Dr. Subbarayalu.

The date of the Tamil-Brahmi script found at Porunthal, on palaeographic basis, could be put only in the first century BCE/CE and “cannot be pushed back to such an early date [490 BCE].” The three letters “va-y-ra” found on the ring-stands were developed and belonged to the second stage of Mr. Mahadevan's dating of Tamil-Brahmi. “It is premature to revise the Tamil-Brahmi dating on the basis of a single carbon date, which is governed by complicated statistical probabilities,” Dr. Subbarayalu said. The word “vayra” is an adapted name from the Prakrit or Sanskrit “vajra” and it is difficult to explain convincingly the generally dominant Prakrit element in Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions found on rock and pot-sherds if Tamil-Brahmi is indigenous and pre-Asokan and transported from south India to north India, he says.

On the other hand, Dilip K. Chakrabarti, Emeritus Professor, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, called the Porunthal Tamil-Brahmi script “an epoch-making discovery in the archaeology of Tamil Nadu” and said there “is no doubt” that Tamil-Brahmi belonged to the pre-Asokan period. In two of his books — “An Oxford Companion to Indian Archaeology” and “India, an Archaeological History” — he had written that the evolution of Tamil-Brahmi should go back to circa 500 BCE.

He refuted the theory that Tamil-Brahmi was post-Asokan.

Dr. Ramesh, who retired as the ASI's Joint Director-General in 1993, said the Porunthal scientific dating strengthened the argument that Tamil-Brahmi was pre-Asokan. He dismissed the assessment that Tamil-Brahmi was post-Asokan as “the argument of people who say that there cannot be pre-Asokan inscriptions.” “How can you question the scientific dating given by an American laboratory?” Dr. Ramesh said the Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions found at Mankulam, near Madurai, were pre-Asokan. [The Mankulam inscriptions are the earliest Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions and they are dated to second century BCE]. “The consonants in the Mankulam inscriptions do not have vowel value attached to them. They are pre-Asokan and the script is more rudimentary than the Asokan-Brahmi,” he claimed.

The date given by the American laboratory was “a wonderful result,” said M.R. Raghava Varier, former Professor, Department of History, Calicut University, “because the earliest date given so far to a south Indian site was 300 BCE.” The archaeological sites of Uraiyur in Tamil Nadu and Arikkamedu in Puducherry fell within the time-limit of 300 BCE and Arikkamedu belonged to a later period than Uraiyur. While the [pre-Asokan] date given to a Tamil-Brahmi inscription found at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka “has not been proved convincingly,” there was “a convincing date” at Porunthal and it was based on a scientific dating system, said Professor Varier, who was the honorary Editor of Kerala Archaeological Series. Its importance lay in the fact that while the Asokan-Brahmi began in the 3rd century BCE, the Porunthal script could be dated to 5th century BCE, he says. “But we cannot argue that Brahmi was invented by the southern people. That is a different issue.”



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•AMS dating fixes excavated paddy's date at 490 BCE
•It's difficult to reach conclusion on basis of single scientific dating: Iravatham Mahadevan

This is probalem with us.

The entire thing is based on one fella megasthenes saying they didnt know writing.

Panini who definitely lived before nandas, created it all rules and sutras in air for them.
yoga sutras were written in air.

then 400 yrs later someone remembered all this and wrote them down.

All accurate astronomical calculations were done in mind/. wow

This is some of these idiots stupid concept.

Beauty is panini is his own ashtadayi mentions writing scripts.



A recent finding in Tamilnadu puts the date of Tamil Brahmi script at 3rd Century BC, that is before Ashoka and along with the times of Nandas. Popular linguistic scholars do not accept this time. But a verse in Aga nanuru mentioned Nanda kings and how Tamils had gone to their kingdom in Pataliputhra. Since the issue is on written script, how would they interpret the existence of this verse - in oral form or written form?

(அகம் 265)

பல்புகழ் நிறைந்த வெல்போர் நந்தர்

சீர்மிகு பாடலிக் குழீஇக், கங்கை

நீர்முதற் கரந்த நிதியம் கொல்லோ?

will get my notes on it

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1066097&page=24

Porunthal data from AMS

http://groups.google.com/group/mintamil/browse_thread/thread/00fbeac16ce294e7

ஐயா கணேசன்,


பொருந்தல் அகழாய்வின் கால ஆய்வு அறிக்கையை பேரா. க இராசனிடம் இருந்து பெற்று
மின் தமிழில் வழங்கினமைக்கு உம்மைப் பாராட்டுகிறேன். எழுத்து பொறித்த
மட்கலனில் எழுதப்பட்டுள்ள எழுத்துகளை படித்த பிறகு அவை வய்ர அல்ல என்பதை
உறுதி செய்து கொண்டேன். அதில் மைசூர் பாகு அல்லது டைமண்ட் போல் உள்ள எழுத்து
பிராமி அல்ல எனவே அது வகர ஒலியும் அல்ல. அது சிந்து எழுத்து என்பது தெளிவு
அந்த எழுத்தின் மேல் மூலையில் கோடு வெளியே வலிக்கப்பட்டு உள்ளது. எனவே அது
சிந்து ஒலியில் நா. அடுத்துள்ள எழுத்து பிராமியில் யகரம், சிந்து எழுத்தில்
அதன் ஒலி ங. மூன்றாவது எழுத்தான ஒரு நெடுங் கோடு பிராமியில் ரகர மெய், சிந்து
எழுத்தில் அதன் ஒலி ன். அதன்படி சிந்து முதலெழுத்து மற்றன பிராமி எனக்
கொண்டால் அதை நாயர் என்று தான் படிக்க வேண்டும். முழுவதும் சிந்து எழுத்தாக
கருதினால் அதை நாஙன்>நாங்கன் என்றே படிக்க வேண்டும். நடு எழுத்தை மட்டும்
பிராமியின் யகரம் முதல் எழுத்தும் மூன்றாம் எழுத்தும் சிந்து எழுத்து எனக்
கொண்டால் அதை நாயன் என படிக்க வேண்டும். ஆனால் அது வய்ர அல்ல எனபது மட்டும்
தெளிவு. நாயன் என்ற பெயர் சிநது முத்திரைகளில் உண்டு. நாயன்மார், E K.
நாயனார் என்ற சொற்களை ஈண்டு நோக்குக.

வய்ர என படித்துக் காட்டியது யார் என்று க. இராசனிடம் அறிந்து சொல்ல
வேண்டுகிறேன். அது தவறு.


சேசாத்திரி


> ஐயா கணேசன்,



எனது முடிவு இதில் ஒரு எழுத்து கூட பிராமியே அல்ல மூன்றும் சிந்து
எழுத்துகளே. நாங்கன் எனப் படிப்பதே முறை.

சேசாததிரி
ஐயா கணேசன்,

> எனது முடிவு இதில் ஒரு எழுத்து கூட பிராமியே அல்ல மூன்றும் சிந்து
> எழுத்துகளே. நாங்கன் எனப் படிப்பதே முறை.


> சேசாததிரி



எனக்கும் இது தமிழ் பிரமியா? என்பது ஐயமே.

வ எப்படி தமிழ்-பிராமியில் இருக்கும்?
ஐராவதம் புத்தகத்தில் இருந்து காட்டலாமே.
டையமண்ட் வடிவத்தில் இல்லை என்று
தெளிவாக்கலாம் - படங்கள் கொண்டு.



நா. கணேசன்

ஐயா படவிளக்கம் தந்து இரண்டு நாள்களுக்கு மேல் ஆகிவிட்டது. க இராசனிடம்
தொட்ர்பு கொண்டீரா? என்ன சொல்கிறார் அவர்,


சேசாத்திரி

சேசாத்திரி.

நண்பர் பேரா. ராஜனுடன் பேசினேன். ஒய். சுப்பராயலு போன்றோர்
வயிர என்று படிப்பதைச் சுட்டிக்காட்டினார்.


பேரா. நாச்சிமுத்து பயிர என்னும் அப்பகுதிக் கூட்டத்தார்
பெயராக இருக்கலாம் என்கிறார்.


பகரத்தை விட வகரம் பொருந்துகிறது.
கிராபிட்டி இல்லை, எழுத்து என்று சுப்பராயலு போன்றோரும்
கருதுகின்றனர்.


நா. கணேசன்

சிந்து எழுத்தை கிராபிடி என்பதால் எழும் தவறுகள் பேராளம்.


சிந்து எழுத்தைப் பற்றித் தெரியாது.

ஆனால், பொருந்தல் எழுத்துப் போல,
விஞ்ஞான முறையில் இன்னும் நிறைய இடங்களில்
கிட்டும் என்று நம்புகிறேன். Pre-Asokan.
ஒய். சுப்பராயலு போன்றோரே எழுத்து என்று இவற்றை
சொல்கிறார்கள் என்பது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.


நா. கணேசன்
நண்பர் சேசாத்திரி அவர்களுக்கு,

> வணக்கம். தாங்கள் சிந்து அறிஞர் மதிவாணன் போன்று உருவாகுவதில் மெத்த மகிழ்ச்சி
> அடைகிறேன்.


> ஆறுமுகம்.



அன்பு ஆறுமுகம்,

நீங்களும் முயன்றால் மதிவாணன் போல சிந்து “எழுத்து” படிக்கக்
கூடும். நான் பார்ப்போலா அவர்கள் உழைத்து அச்சிட்ட 3 தொகுதி
கார்ப்பஸ் விரும்பிப் பார்ப்பவன். சிந்து எழுத்து என்று இன்னும்
உறுதியாகலை. ப்ரொட்டோ-ரைட்டிங் என்ற அளவில் கொள்ளக்
கூடும். ஆனால் தனித்தனி எழுத்தாய் படிப்பது என்பது உங்கள்
கையில் இருக்கிறது. பலரும் பல விதமாய்ப் படிக்கிறார்கள்,.


------------


தொல்லியல் பேரா. கா. ராஜன் ஆராய்ந்து கண்டுபிடித்துள்ள
எழுத்துக்கள் வேறு. அதை அத்துறையினர் - சுப்பராயலு,
ஐராவதம், நடன. காசிநாதன், புலவர் ராசு, வேதாச்சலம்,
சு. ராஜவேலு, ... - படிக்கட்டும். கே. வி. ராமன் ப்ரி-அசோகன்
எழுத்து இருக்கிறது என்கிறார்.


நா. கணேசன்


ஆனால், பொருந்தல் எழுத்துப் போல,
> விஞ்ஞான முறையில் இன்னும் நிறைய இடங்களில்
> கிட்டும் என்று நம்புகிறேன்.



கிட்டட்டும் கிட்டினால் அது தமிழின் தொன்மையை இன்னும் சான்று அடிப்படையில்
பின்னோக்கிக் கொண்டு செல்லும். சமற்கிருதத்திற்கு அத்தகு வாய்ப்பு அரிதே..


> Pre-Asokan. ஒய். சுப்பராயலு போன்றோரே எழுத்து என்று இவற்றை
> சொல்கிறார்கள் என்பது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.
> எங்கே சொல்லுகிறார் இந்த ஒரு சான்று போதாது. வய்ர என்பது பிராகித சொல் எனவே
> அது கி.மு. 1 ஆம் நூற்றாண்டினது என்று தானே அவர் சொல்கிறார். உணமையில் அவர்
> அமெரிக்க ஆய்வு அறிக்கையை பொய் என்று தள்ளப் பார்க்கிறார். இதற்கு அவருடைய
> இந்து நாளிதழ் அறிக்கையே போதும்.


சேசாத்திரி






எனக்கும் இது தமிழ் பிரமியா? என்பது ஐயமே.


> வ எப்படி தமிழ்-பிராமியில் இருக்கும்? ஐராவதம் புத்தகத்தில் இருந்து
> காட்டலாமே. டையமண்ட் வடிவத்தில் இல்லை என்று
> தெளிவாக்கலாம் - படங்கள் கொண்டு. நா. கணேசன்
> வகரம் பிராமியில் சுவர் கடிகாரத்தின் Pendulum போல் இருக்கும். அதை



இணைத்து உள்ள பிராமி எழுத்து படத்தில் கண்டு தெளியலாம்.

போலிகை(sample)ஆக தன்னஅ சா கேனத்தன் என நான் படித்த சிந்து முத்திரையில்
இடம் பெறும் டையமண்டையும் ஒட்டுகிறேன்.


சேசாத்திரி

Written script existed in Tamilnadu before Ashoka.

A recent finding in Tamilnadu puts the date of Tamil Brahmi script at 3rd Century BC, that is before Ashoka and along with the times of Nandas. Popular linguistic scholars do not accept this time. But a verse in Aga nanuru mentioned Nanda kings and how Tamils had gone to their kingdom in Pataliputhra. Since the issue is on written script, how would they interpret the existence of this verse – in oral form or written form?

(அகம் 265)

பல்புகழ் நிறைந்த வெல்போர் நந்தர்
சீர்மிகு பாடலிக் குழீஇக், கங்கை
நீர்முதற் கரந்த நிதியம் கொல்லோ?

*******************

From

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/tamil-nadu/article2408091.ece
Did the Tamil-Brahmi script originate in the post-Asokan period, that is, after the 3rd century BCE, or is it pre-Asokan? A cist-burial excavated in 2009 at Porunthal village, on the foothills of the Western Ghats, 12 km from Palani in Tamil Nadu, has reignited this debate because of the spectacular variety of grave goods it contained.



One of the two underground chambers of the grave was remarkable for the richness of its goods: a skull and skeletal bones, a four-legged jar with two kg of paddy inside, two ring-stands inscribed with the same Tamil-Brahmi script reading “va-y-ra” (meaning diamond) and a symbol of a gem with a thread passing through it, 7,500 beads made of carnelian, steatite, quartz and agate, three pairs of iron stirrups, iron swords, knives, four-legged jars of heights ranging from few centimetres to one metre, urns, vases, plates and bowls. It was obviously a grave that belonged to a chieftain ( The Hindu , June 28, 2009 and Frontline , October 8, 2010).

Brahmi Script Used in Puducherry before 5th century BC - http://quicktake.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/brahmi-script-used-in-puducherry-before-5th-century-bc/

Aryan Invasion Theory became Aryan Migration Theory; Indus Valley became Saraswati Basin. The more we look, the more the need to look. Deeply.


Is this possible
While Aryan invaders, (makes no difference if blonde, white skinned with blue eyes or any other color) were conquering India, massacring the males, raping the women and taking children as slaves, Indian rishis in forests, learnt Sanskrit.

And Brahmi, Prakrit, Kharoshthi scripts from these invaders – wrote the complete grammar, memorized it entirely, found ways and means to transmit it from generation to generation, orally – in a matter of 300-500 years.

Can we get real
These Indians used all these foreign languages to compose more texts in these foreign languages (Sanskrit, Brahmi, Prakrit, Kharoshthi) than the rest of the ancient world, combined, could in their own languages. More than Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Persia, Greece, Rome, Chinese – all of them put together.

And then erase the collective memory of the world about these compositions and texts. How else can we account for Chinese, Tibetan, Korean, Japanese monks travelling to India – to search for knowledge and wisdom.

This is false.

Recently
New results from the analysis of paddy grains found in the Porunthal graveyard archaeological site prove that writing systems in India were in existence in the 5th Century BC, predating the arrival of Asoka, according to history professor at the Pondicherry University and director of the excavation project at Porunthal K. Rajan.

Rice paddy samples that were contained in an engraved pot found inside one of the graves were found to be from 450 BC when analysed using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) by the Beta Analytic Lab, USA, he said, addressing a private gathering organised by the Manarkeni journal.

Earlier, paddy sample from another grave was dated at 490 BC, but many scholars were unwilling to accept evidence obtained from only one sample. The analysis of the second sample proved that Tamil-Brahmi writing existed in the 5th century BC and was not invented in the 3rd century BC as was previously believed by scholars, he said. This was also the first time anyone had discovered Tamil-Brahmi script along with rice in any archaeological site. Scholars were still debating on the exact letters that were written and its meaning, he said.

Another significant discovery from the gravesite is that the paddy samples obtained in the graves in Porunthal were cultivated paddy of the Orissa Satvaika variety. The team also found a pot with around 2 kilos of rice paddy, which had been sealed in airtight containers. These graves also contained a large number of beads, which were predominantly glass. The pottery in the grave was also engraved with Tamil-Brahmi script, he said. In two of the graves, the team found over 11,000 beads, which were made from glass or paste. The beads were originally made in the Vidarbha region, indicating a trade relationship between the two regions. (via The Hindu : States / Tamil Nadu : Porunthal excavations prove existence of Indian scripts in 5th century BC: expert).

Changing history
Sometime back researchers in Australia traced the origin of the common rat, Rattus rattus to India. How it spread from India to the world – over a period of 20,000 years. And the spread was not a natural dispersion. It was human-aided dispersion.

Another interesting discovery was the silk in Mohenjodaro-Harappa complex. The earliest sample of silk. DNA tests showed that this was not Chinese silk – but Indian silk.

This Puducherry find proves glass industry in India in 500 BC – one of the oldest in the world. How did this rice seed sample cross from Orissa to Tamil Nadu? Or was it vice versa.