Page:Origin and spread of the Tamils.djvu/69

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58 ORIGIN AND SPREAD OF THE TAMILS 6. Till within the last few years our knowledge of the earliest settled culture in Egypt has been scanty to a degree at the very point where we would most desire to have it full and complete--the point at which the hunting life of the nomads who left their flints on the desert plateau above the Nile Valley and on the successive terraces within the Valley began to pass into the settled life of an agricultural community, with herds of more or less domesticated animals, and depending for its sustenance not so much on hunting and fishing, though these would still be practised as on the rearing of wheat and barley. In 1924-25, however, two discoveries were made one at Badari, near Qau, above Assiut, by Mr. Brunton and Sir Flinders Petrie; the other in the Fayum, by Miss Caton Thompson-which have thrown a considerable amount of new light on the whole problem of the earlier stages of the pre-dynastic civilization of man in Egypt. Both Brunton and Petrie found a settlement at Badari, being one out of many along the course of the Valley. The Badarians were, according to some, the first cultivators of a land where cultivation has since been more continuous, perhaps, than anywhere else in the world. They were a short and slender race, with heads of the dolichocephalic type. Apprently their descendants the Egyptians of the present day, still bear a considerable physical resemblance as is the case with some of the still surviving specimens of the older races of India and Ceylon, the Dravidians and Veddahs (James Baikie, A History of Egypt--From the Earliest Times to the End of the XVIIIth Dynasty, pp. 24-25). A very extreme view about the origin of the Tamils was put forward by V. Kanakasabhai Pillai in his book The Tamils 1800 Years Ago, 1904, in which he opined that