Page:Origin and spread of the Tamils.djvu/53

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ORIGIN AND SPREAD OF THE TAMILS Romans copied this. Remnants of these are still seen among the junks and sampans of China and IndoChina. The coracle covered with hide familiar to us on the Kaveri and other big rivers was the one used to cross the Tigris and the Euphrates. in South India should be again credited with having been the fountain head of primitive irrigation. The rice civilization of South India can be compared with that of South China and Indonesia. The centre of wheat civilization was the Indus Valley from where it spread to Mesopotamia and the Nile Valley. Perhaps Central America was the home of the maize which came to India later as a result of mutual intercourse. It is just possible that there was an independent growth in irrigated cultivation in all riverine tracts where were sown the first seeds of civilization throughout the ancient world. Certainly it need not be the monopoly of one country or the other. But that South India knew the agricultural industry from the lithic times is seen from some of the agricultural implements revealed to us, thanks to the spade of the archaeologist. Cherts which were ploughshares and flint flakes are enough to show the practice of agriculture. And fint flakes are common on early Sumerian and Egyptian cities. In the Indus Valley we do not see specimens of flint flakes very probably due to availability of copper impleinents, In this connection we must remember that we are not dealing with the neolithic plane of culture in Mohenjo Daro. But it is an advanced chalcolithic culture,