Page:Origin and spread of the Tamils.djvu/31

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20 ORIGIN AND SPREAD OF THE TAMILS upon by sheer accident and this accident must have happened in our Peninsula where the iron industry is much more ancient than in Europe. If this theory be accepted, I ask how Crete got iron to pass on to iron culture from its Neolithic Age? Let Cretologists answer. The men of the lithic ages were not probably forest dwellers. Their residences were always on the hilly plains. It is only after the discovery of the iron ore that man should have taken to forest residence. How else could he fell the trees and clear the forest ? In the later Iron Age, culture gets widened. The men get to know the art of making the alloy. Side by side with iron, we find implements and vessels in other metals, gold, bronze and copper. The development in pottery &o is writ large, in the finds from the various burial places including the megalithic tombs. This period has been considered as the age in which the Dravidians migrated to the South and settled. This is to set at nought the fundamental unity of South Indian culture whose origins are rooted in the traditions of the palaeolithic and neolithic men, not to mention the rich background of early iron culture. Certain theories unfortunately get fixed up by generations of scholars and by students repeating them, without giving much serious and critical thought. The typical example is the theory that Asoka was a Buddhist at a time when we cannot prove that Buddhism had fully assumed the role of a religion. This is only by the way. What I want to show is that age creates tradition and as the Mediterranean theory of Dravidian