The Porunai River (Thamirabarani) civilization could easily date back to 3,200 years, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said in a suo motu statement in the Assembly on Thursday.
The finding has ‘established’ that the Porunai River (Thamirabarani) civilization dates back to 3,200 years. “It is the task of the government to scientifically prove that the history of the Indian sub-continent begins from the Tamil landscape,” the Chief Minister in a suo motu statement in the Assembly. [This is the oldest year revealed in any study in Tamil Nadu. It is said that the Indus Valley Civilization almost died down by 1,200 BC but this study could establish that people lived during that period here. Some historians say this could establish a link between Indus Valley and the Thamirabarani civilizations].
Stalin based his statements on the findings of a carbon dating analysis of rice with soil extracted from a burial urn in Sivakalai in Tirunelveli district. The carbon dating had thrown up 1155 BCE as the date, the CM said, announcing the setting up of a museum in Tirunelveli at a cost of ₹15 crore.
The testing was done by the Beta Analytic Testing Laboratory in Miami, US and the results were released on August 27, reports said.
Prior to the Sivakalai rice grain findings, a silver coin embossed with sun and the moon shapes was found in Keeladi, Sivaganga district. Studies said the coin was of 4th century BC and pre-dated the Ashoka period. Similarly, a Tamili script found in Keeladi was dated prior to 6th century BC.
It has also been said that Korkai, a harbour, existed before 8th century BC. Also, the shards of black and red pots, dating back to the 6th century, prove that Korkai had maritime relations with other countries then.
It was A.F. Jagor, German ethnologist, who carried out a study for the first time in Adichanallur located near Thamirabharani river, in 1876. Some of the artefacts are kept in the Berlin museum. After this, Alexander Rea, a British archaeologist, carried out excavations in 1903-04. The excavated materials are kept in the Chennai museum. Then, in 2002-03, archeologist T. Satyamurthy carried out a study here.
All these excavations were done on burial grounds and it threw light on the burial traditions and rituals followed by the ancient people, reports said.
Between 2019 and 2021, excavations were carried out in human habitations. One of the major findings here was the 21 pipes that indicated a well-established water management system in the Tamil region.
“We proved that the pottery found in Adichanallur excavation was 3,600-6,000 years old. We proved that by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating. The urn burial sites date back to 4000 -1500 BC. Now, we have to ‘fix’ Iron age as it was after during the Iron age that agriculture and writings on rock were done,” said Satyamurthy.
Historian Rajavelu said the State government had allocated ₹5 crore alone and the excavations should be carried in more places.
“With modern techniques and collaboration with archeologists from countries like Egypt and Oman, we have to carry out excavations in those places since ancient Tamils had maritime relations with them. By that way, we will prove that Tamil civilisation is one of the oldest civilisations in the world,” he said.