CHENNAI: Iravatham Mahadevan (79), who received the Padma Shri, is an expert in Indian epigraphy, especially in the Indus and Tamil-Brahmi scripts.
A former officer of the Indian Administrative Service, Mr. Mahadevan is known for two of his works, ‘Early Tamil Epigraphy: From the Earliest Times to the Sixth Century A.D.’ and ‘The Indus Script: Texts, Concordance and Tables.’ He has published numerous papers on several aspects of the Indus and Tamil-Brahmi scripts.
During 1980-1990, he served as the coordinator of the International Association of Tamil Research. In 1998, he was elected the president of the Annual Congress of the Epigraphical Society of India and three years later the general president of the Indian History Congress.
A recipient of several awards and honours, he was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship in 1970 for his research on the Indus script and 22 years later, the National Fellowship of the Indian Council of Historical Research for his work on the Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions.