Historical News (1): Pazhassi Raja, MMW, Neolothic Axe

  • From Newspapers
    1. Karur coins of Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians
    2. According to Dr. Nagaswamy, Tamil scholar Francois Gros of the Ecole Francais Extreme Orient, Pondicherry, suggested the study of all the Karur finds and assessment of their archaeological significance, along with the role of Karur in the history of Tamil civilisation. The studies clearly proved that the presence of these foreigners had left a far deeper impact on the economy, defence, arts and architecture than imagined earlier.

    3. Recently Edakkal Caves in Kerala has been a hub of discoveries: A Neolithic axe was found in  Ambukuthy hills and one of the caves had an Indus Valley sign.
    4. Of the identified 429 signs, “a man with jar cup”, a symbol unique to the Indus civilisation and other compound letters testified to remnants of the Harappan culture, spanning from 2300 BC to 1700 BC, in South India, Mr. Varier, who led the excavation at the caves told PTI.The “man-with-the-jar” symbol, an integral remnant commonly traced in parts where the Indus Valley civilisation existed, has even more similarities than those traced in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, he said.

    5. Kesavan Veluthat has a review of Thomas Trautmann’s The Clash of Chronologies
    6. In the 18th century, when prehistory had not been known and the western intellect was struggling under the burden of biblical chronology, either the world outside Christendom had to be fitted within the scheme or the scheme itself had to be thrown overboard. Sir William Jones was trying to vindicate the “short chronology” of the Bible, with creation located some four millennia before Christ, in opposition to the Enlightenment tirade against the Bible and what it represented. Thus, an ethnology deriving the peoples of the world from the children of Noah, a philology starting with the tower of Babel and a cartography derived from Ptolemaic notions tried to fit the new information into its mould — however hard that was.

  • Movies
    1. One historical movie which is currently in theatres is Pazhassi Raja, based on the true story of a Malayali prince who fought a guerilla war against the British in 1795.

    2. One historical movie which looks to be good is Agora, which is based on the life of Hypatia, the female astronomer and mathematician, who lived from 370 CE – 415 CE.

  • Podcasts
    1. If you have been fascinated by Ardi, Out of Africa theory and the like, one course worth listening is  the MMW1 (Prehistory and the birth of civilization) from UC San Diego. This time they are offering three tracks online, which is the same course taught by three different professors. I have been listening to the one by Prof. Tara D. Carter.
    2. This term Prof. Matthew Herbst is teaching MMW4 (New Ideas and the clash of cultures). Prof. Herbst is one of the best teachers of history as we have noted before and his lectures are highly recommended.