NATIONAL

Award for classic on Tamil epigraphy

Iravatham Mahadevan — Photo: T.A. Hafeez

Iravatham Mahadevan — Photo: T.A. Hafeez  

CHENNAI, JULY 24. Iravatham Mahadevan's magnum opus on early Tamil epigraphy has been chosen for the inaugural award of the Prof. V. Chelvanayakam Trust, Colombo, Sri Lanka. The book, Early Tamil Epigraphy: From the Earliest Times to the Sixth Century A.D., was published jointly in 2003 by Crea-A, Chennai and Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. It has been judged to be "the most outstanding contribution in the field of Tamil research studies in the year 2003."

The award will be given to the retired Indian Administrative Service officer and former Editor at a function at the Tamil Sangam premises in Colombo on July 29, 2004. Mr. Mahadevan, an epigraphist of international renown, is recognised as one of the world's leading experts on both the Tamil Brahmi script and the yet-to-be deciphered Indus Valley script.

Announcing the award, the Trust chaired by K. Sivathamby, Professor Emeritus, University of Jaffna, said the decision by its managing committee was unanimous.

The announcement by the Trust praises Mr. Mahadevan's most recent work, which deals with Tamil Brahmi inscriptions having "a great relevance to Sankam studies, both historical and literary," as deserving "acknowledgement by the world of Tamilological research for the light it throws on early history of the Tamils and the manner [in which] it places the historical and literary development in early Tamil Nadu in a wider South Indian, Indian perspective."

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