Watercraft in Early Tamil Literature by Dr V Selvakumar, June 5, 2021

Tamil literature has references to several types of watercrafts. Kalam, vanji, ambi, navai are some of the watercrafts mentioned in early Tamil texts. Sangam literature presents the contexts in which these watercrafts are used such as long-distance navigation, inland navigation and for coastal transport. Medieval inscriptions too refer to the use of watercrafts for applications like maintaining irrigation tanks and long-distance trade. In his talk, Dr Selvakumar explores these references to watercraft in Tamil literature and inscriptions. Dr. Selvakumar is a faculty member in the Department of Maritime History and Marine Archaeology, Tamil University, Thanjavur. Earlier he was a faculty member in the Department of Epigraphy and Archaeology. He completed doctoral research and post-doctoral research from Deccan College, Pune. He was a faculty member at Centre for Heritage Studies, Tripunithura, Kerala and a NTICVAM (Nehru Trust for the Indian Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum) Visiting Researcher at the Centre for Maritime Archaeology, Southampton University. His research interests include archaeology of India, prehistory, heritage management, maritime history and archaeology, archaeological theory, heritage management, history of science and technology, Indian Ocean Cultural interactions, and ecocriticism.