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Location: India         Length: 26 min


South India is a culture with a continuous literary tradition more than 2000 years old. With 80 million speakers, Tamil is one of few languages besides Greek that is both classical and modern. This video essay outlines in images and music the development of the rich Tamil culture and writing systems. The origins of its earliest written script, found on cave walls, is a mystery. Some say it descends from the still undeciphered Indus script used 4000 years ago in modern Pakistan and northwestern India and that the Indus people spoke Dravidian, ancestral to Tamil.


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A video essay by M.V. Bhaskar and K.T. Gandhirajan


Copyright 2005 by Apple & a Bathtub


"UR: A Video Essay on Tamil – Part 1" is available for purchase in TAC Marketplace.



Web links:


Bellary District Archaeology Project (Cambridge University and Karnatak University)

Historical Atlas of South India (French Institute of Pondechery)

Mahabalipuram (

A Note on the Muruku Sign of the Indus Script in light of the Mayiladuthurai Stone Axe Discovery (

The First Online Tamil Lifestyle (Tamil Culture) (K. Kalyanasundaram)

Tamil Heritage (

Tamil Language, History and Literature (Tamil Language in Context)

Tamil People (Wikipedia)