The Dravidian languages are among those tongues spoken in Southern India.
They come from a different stock to Sanskrit and the Indo-European languages.
The best known are Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil and Kanada.
The Bible speaks of a group of people under the name of Elam, and the Elamites, who inhabited the eastern bank of the Persian Gulf. I trace the root Ta-mil-ay-alam giving rise to some of the varaints we have seen including Tamil, Malayalam and Elam. Nor can I lose site of the Himalaya mountains and as we move further east Malaya and the straits of Malacca. I am of the opinion that the Malaccan Straits are derived from the same root as Malayalam. The Malaccan Straits lie between Malaya and Sumatra. An important stretch of water. And di they leave this name in Spain as Malaga?
It is generally held that the Hindu religion spread from India to other places, including Bali and Indonesia. Yet the forms of Vishnu and Garuda on Bali are of a far more primitive expression than that held in the minds of the people of the Indian subcontinent. This suggests to me that the Dravidian speaking people came from the East to settle along the coasts of southern India – I would project sometime around 10000 BC. At that time the Persian Gulf basin had not yet filled with water and the Euphrates and Tigris flowed down to the straights of Ormuzd. It was possible to walk from Goa to Ur and Babylon.
The Indus Valley civilisation was placed, at 1500 BCE, far too late in history by those Europeans who first explored the culture, suffering from Biblical time scales which had only recently been exploded. I would place that culture as at least 4500 BCE, bringing weights and measures to Bahrain – see the work of Geoffrey Bibby ‘In Search of Dilmun’. Archaeological evidence shows bead factories in Baluchistan dated to 5000 BCE. If you have factories you have trade on a grand scale that demands, distributors, transport, diplomacy and markets. This was not a primitive time in that part of the world.
These men were mariners, unlike the Indo-Europeans whose culture developed from 15000 BCE to 5000 BCE on the steppes and plains north of the Black and Caspian Seas. Mariners have certain needs and particular collected insights. They need to be able to return home. For this, on an open sea, it is necessary to develop a star lore.
It is from these mariners that we inherit the Zodiac and the first star names. The Arab sailors and desert star-gazers come later. Mariners are merchants, as well as fishermen and pearl divers. They are traders. The word merchant derives, I believe from the combination of two root concepts mer- the sea, and chant – to sing in chorus, particularly worksongs. The British sea songs are called shanties. They were used to haul the anchor up and other communal tasks.
In the search for trade goods exotic plants and foods, medicines and incenses will have been sought out and brought back to the homeland. It is within the realms of possibility that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were originally a Dravidian collection. I hold that the German word ‘Druiden’ (Druid) derives from them as ‘the men of the trees’ carried their mysteries with them. Some may argue that the word derives from derw – oak. I say that is because this tree was important to the people who brought the lore.
Interestingly in all the four Dravidian languages that Google translates – the four numbered above – each has the word as ‘oak’. Either they met the tree through the English colonisation of India in the 17th and subsequent centuries, or the opposite was the case and English inherited this word long in its past, from them.
In considering all of the above it has to be understood that people are wanderers and whether by land or sea they will not stay in one place.