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Were Elamites Tamil?

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bilal_ali_2000 View Drop Down
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  Quote bilal_ali_2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Were Elamites Tamil?
    Posted: 08-Dec-2007 at 18:01
    As many know that there has been suggestions of a Dravidian-Elam language group based on the similarities of the languages. I didn't thought much of it since that idea had not gained wide acceptance. However while surfing on the net i came across this website.

http://www.geocities.com/tamiltribune/03/1201.html

And seeing the name Eelam my mind shot straight to the Elamites. Although  Eelam was very much in the north west  but it should be kept in mind that the Tamils were master sailsmen who constructed the catamaran the F1 of the seas and all of the coastal areas of the subcontinent show their imprints. So i was wondering what do you think of this. Certainly the fact that Elamites called their country Elam does mean something as it is what the Tamils called the "land of the Tamils".                


Edited by bilal_ali_2000 - 08-Dec-2007 at 18:11
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  Quote jdalton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Dec-2007 at 20:02
Were the Elamites Tamil? That seems extremely far-fetched to me. You can't take one single vague similarity in name and conclude that we need to drastically rewrite history. Linguistic coincidences like that happen all the time. Wasn't there a kingdom in the Punjab called Pancanada? Should we assume that Canada was named by Punjabi immigrants? There is a group of people in East Africa called the Yao. Are they related to the Ancient Chinese kingdom of the same name? Or that the Tonga of central Africa came from the Pacific island of Tonga?

I don't know enough about the Elamites to say for certain, but the suggestion that they might have spoken a Dravidian language is at least more reasonable than that they spoke Tamil. Elam isn't very far from the Indus valley at least. The Elamites had a written language, didn't they? What evidence is there that the language was Dravidian?


Edited by jdalton - 08-Dec-2007 at 20:05
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  Quote bilal_ali_2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Dec-2007 at 20:39
Originally posted by jdalton

Were the Elamites Tamil? That seems extremely far-fetched to me. You can't take one single vague similarity in name and conclude that we need to drastically rewrite history. Linguistic coincidences like that happen all the time. Wasn't there a kingdom in the Punjab called Pancanada? Should we assume that Canada was named by Punjabi immigrants? There is a group of people in East Africa called the Yao. Are they related to the Ancient Chinese kingdom of the same name? Or that the Tonga of central Africa came from the Pacific island of Tonga?

I don't know enough about the Elamites to say for certain, but the suggestion that they might have spoken a Dravidian language is at least more reasonable than that they spoke Tamil. Elam isn't very far from the Indus valley at least. The Elamites had a written language, didn't they? What evidence is there that the language was Dravidian?


    Well the reason that i made that connection was because the language of the Elamites from what we know does have a lot of similarities with the Dravidian. That was the reason that i immediately thought that because the Davidian Elam connection is well stongly suggested by many scholars.   










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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Dec-2007 at 20:41
Points well made by jdalton. The language wasn't Dravidian, it is said by some to be related to Dravidian, perhaps in the same way that Russian is related to English or Hindi.

What evidence of similarity is there between the cultures? Was Tamil script also cunieform? What about religion, dress, customs, etc.?


Edited by Zagros - 08-Dec-2007 at 20:42
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  Quote bilal_ali_2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Dec-2007 at 19:25

      Tamils are considered to be the oldest Dravidian group, probably the progenirator of all the other Dravidian groups. Their language is the closest to Proto-Dravidian that is why many scholars with a Dravidian reading of the indus script have tried to read it with the help of Tamil.

     And they trace their history very far back in time with tales of flood which may date to around 7000 B.C.   
 
    And Dravidian is not the name for any language but a language group very much like the Aryan group. So yes in that sense Elamite is related to tamil just as Russian is related to Hindi or Farsi.
 
 
    And what i have said does not require any drastic changing of history. The Dravidian Elam connection is very much suggested by many scholars what i have found only givesa more crecedence to that possibility which some have thought of. 
 
    Of course such indications by themselves do not mean anything, the only purpose they serve is to provide clues for further research.
 
   However what makes this indication so suggestive is that the word Elu is a proper noun not some pan Dravidian root, something which could be carreid by just contact. And surely if the Elamites called themselves Elu they would not have taken the word from a foreigner to refer to themselves.
 
   The culture of Tamils and their similarity to Elamites culture. Hmmm, it is an interesting topic something which needs research and which these indications should serve as the impetus.
 
   The problem is that the mature Elamite culture was very much mesopotamized. So deciding that what was native Elamite and what was a mesopotamian borrowing is hard to decide. The cunniform was a mesopotamian borrowing which replaced their native script which by the way had some similarities with the IVC script.   
 
 
           
     


Edited by bilal_ali_2000 - 09-Dec-2007 at 19:28
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Dec-2007 at 20:42
Dravidian can be considered a group in its own right in the same way that Iranic or Indic or Germanic can be and as such does not encompass Elamite or Harappan.

From what I have read, the Proto-Elamo-Harappan-Dravidian language originated in the fertile crescent.  So Tamils being considered as the oldest Dravidian group does not make them the oldest in the wider group of languages.  Just like Avestan and Sanskrit are the oldest Aryan languages but not the oldest IE language.

That is how I understand it.  If you have academic support to the contrary, please do share.

What makes me doubt this 'theory' is that the Elamites didn't appear out of nowhere.  they constituted part of a continuum of Elamo-Dravidian civilisation which extended from SW Iran to eastern Iran, through Afghanistan (Harappan) and then to India (IVC).

What's more, the excavations at Jiroft have revealed the edifices of what was likely a related group, again, in eastern Iran.  I cannot envisage that these civilisations, over such a vast area of land, had direct Tamil maritime origins.  No way.
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  Quote jdalton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2007 at 01:54
Originally posted by bilal_ali_2000

   The problem is that the mature Elamite culture was very much mesopotamized. So deciding that what was native Elamite and what was a mesopotamian borrowing is hard to decide. The cunniform was a mesopotamian borrowing which replaced their native script which by the way had some similarities with the IVC script.  

Oh I've never seen this pre-cuneiform Elamite script. Do you have a sample picture? This sounds interesting.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2007 at 04:23
Hello,

I'm just a newbie to this forum, like this post , so i thought i would share some info on that from other web resources.

http://www.sepiamutiny.com/sepia/archives/004456.html
http://www.tamilnation.org/heritage/tamil_civilisation_jm_rajaratnam.htm
http://www.grahamhancock.com/underworld/underworld1.php?p=4

you hope you find some usefull information and will try to find more if interested in...
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  Quote bilal_ali_2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Dec-2007 at 09:45
Originally posted by jdalton

Originally posted by bilal_ali_2000

   The problem is that the mature Elamite culture was very much mesopotamized. So deciding that what was native Elamite and what was a mesopotamian borrowing is hard to decide. The cunniform was a mesopotamian borrowing which replaced their native script which by the way had some similarities with the IVC script.  

Oh I've never seen this pre-cuneiform Elamite script. Do you have a sample picture? This sounds interesting.
 
Here it is
 
You can see many other samples by searching "google image" with the search terms "proto elamite"  
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Dec-2007 at 09:51
Here's something a little more objective:

http://books.google.com/books?id=piM_6VnSSd0C&pg=PA78&lpg=PA78&dq=pre+elamite+script&source=web&ots=NImcQopeWQ&sig=rJEh49_0NYAhGqi5CAvCrm9pJNg
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  Quote bilal_ali_2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Dec-2007 at 10:09

Zagros you seem to be thinking that i am suggesting something that which i am not.  My only purpose in this thread was to bring a piece of evidence, to the table for a possibility which many are considering nothing more. 

Maybe the title of this thread was misleading, maybe it should have been "Tamil Elamite Connection".
 
 
And Dravidian is the name of a language family group not a sub-family group, analogus to Aryan. So if say for example Ealmite is found to be Dravidian then it will form a sub-group of Dravidan because it is sufficiently different from the other Dravidian languages.
 
And about Dravidian originating in the fertle crescent that is the first time that i heard it. There can be many arguments against that. First of all that if the Dravidians originated in the fertle crescent then they would have to go right through the Indus vallery people who were there by 9000 B.C to get to their present haboitat in the south of the subcontinent. Secondly if Dravidians orginated in the FC then we should find something about them in the records of the Egyptian and mesopotamian civilizations. Not everything can originate in the FC you know.
 
The only place outisde the subcontinent for the origin of the Dravidians that is being considered is Central Asia and even that is very shaky based on a few loan words between languages.
 
And of course i man not suggesting that all of this civilzational  belt was Tamil, i consider IVC to be aryan and jiroft maybe a civilization completely un-related to the Elamites.
 
AS i told you that Tamils have tales of their origin not in the north but further  south of the sub-continent.   
 
    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
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  Quote anum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2007 at 04:33
It is possible they had connections. but it is almost impossible they were the same people. There are to many evidences against the theory.
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  Quote jayeshks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2007 at 14:05
The Dravidian-Elamite connection has been disputed of late.  I read a paper in a Russian journal of language on this topic a while ago.  It appears that the associations between Dravidian and Elamite identified by McAlpin (the originator of this theory) have proven tenuous under further investigation.  Many of the lexical similarities between Elamite and Dravidian have also been found between Elamite and many other language groups, including Indo-Aryan.  Similarly, several identified grammatic associations between Elamite and Dravidian have been found to be very weak and difficult to prove.  And once the linguistic argument breaks down, there is little else to suggest a strong connection between speakers of Dravidian languages today and ancient Elamites.  
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  Quote donald fernandes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2016 at 08:05
It is unclear why historians should use terms that are vague and often misleading. Two terms need to be clarified. Before proceeding further, I must state that I am an amateur involved in archaeology, ancient history and ancient religion and history of medicine and decipherment of the Indus script. The two terms to be clarified are the words Dravidian and Tamil. The term Dravidian broadly refers to those languages that are related for example Brahui, Kurukh, Malto, and some south Indian languages like Tamil, Tulu, Kodagu, Knnada and Malayalam. The other term is Tamil. No one knows the origin of the Tamil language, but the speakers of Tamil gloat over its antiquity and greatness. The beginings of Tamil in south India is so vague, hardly anyone talks about it. Its appearance in south India also appears to be sudden. No one has any concrete explaination.
                                      Elam in ancient Mesopotamia has probably no links whatsoever to the Eelam in Srilanka, because they are of relatively recent origins c.500 BC to C.1000 AD(BASED ON DATES OF EARLY TAMIL LITERATURE) while Sumer, Susa, Elam, Indus Valley, Egypt, and Crete belong to the time scale of C. 8000 BC to C. 2500 BC. It is impossible to connect the two with the present inadequate evidence available. But there is something very perplexing - in ancient Sumer, the cities were called Ur(meaning city in several south Indian languages) and rivers were called aar(means river in Tamil). The sun(pozh udu) was called Udu and tower- Ziggurat(ziggaram in Tamil). Besides, the Sumerians who used these words were also known as the NEPHILIMS OR THE BLACK HEADED(FACED) ONES. And one of the meanings of Sumer is - a land faraway in the east. This is very confusing. Please kindly clarify.    
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  Quote donald fernandes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2016 at 09:18
I wish to differ regarding the origins of the Tamils. They have no roots in Southern India or Srilanka, no major sites of urban cities like in the Indus Valley have been found here. The people who claim to be Tamils of South India and Srilanka are probably elements of the great Aryan sweep into the Indian peninsula, because most of the Tamil speakers belong to the Hindu(Aryan religion) caste system which is a rigid social stratification and does not permit any kind of migration among the castes. A Brahmin cannot become a Shudra(A low Hindu caste), similarly a Vysya(merchant caste) cannot migrate to become a Brahmin or a Kshatriya(warrior caste). Inter-caste marriages are detested and discouraged. A moot point is no one can become a Hindu, they must always be born a Hindu within the caste system. Only fair skinned foreigners(Europeans and Americans - they can become bhagwans  and even priests) are exempted.
            The saint Agastya who brought Tamil to south India was the son of a great Aryan sage and Lord Muruga who is regarded as the Tamil god was the son of Lord Shiva the Aryan god. This dichotomy is puzzling. Apart from the Hindus there are a large number of people who were formerly treated as untouchables and outside the Hindu religion and caste system(outcastes). They are spread all over india, but do not have a common language or culture, and they make no claim to Tamil, because they do not know their original language. they have been literally slaves to the Hindus(includes Tamils) for almost 3000 years. Nobody knows where they came from. In the past they have had very little interaction with mainstream Tamil people because of their miserable social and cultural status. They used to be used as menials and scavengers. But their historical status is described as Pre-Dravidian(they are not Dravidians). It would be more interesting to find out what was their original language before the arrival of the Aryans and the Hindu religion. For the Elamites to be Tamils, they would have to be a branch of the ancient Aryan race. That could settle the whole issue.
                              
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