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The conference will host over 40 scholars of various disciplines from North America, Europe, South Asia, and Australasia:


Artist: Vasuki
Artist: Kiko
Artist: Vasan

Abraham, S.
Ambalavanar, D.
Arasu, V.
Champakalakshmi, R.
Cheran, R.
Fukao, J.
George, G.
George, U.
Ghose, R.
Guruge, S.
Jegathesan, M.
Kanaganayakam, C.
Kanthasamy, P.
Karunakaran, K.
Karunanithi, G.
Kingsolver, A.
Mason, R.
Maunaguru, S.
Maunaguru, Sitralega
McNaughton, S.
More, J.B.P.
Orr, L.
Pai, G.
Palaniappan, S.
Pandian, M.S.S.
Rajesh, V.
Renganathan, V.
Sangarasivam, Y.
Seylon, R.
Shanmugam, K.
Sivalingam, H.
Sriramachandran, R.
Sundar, A.
Tambiah, S.J.
Tyyskä, V.
Vaitheespara, R.
Vivekananthan, P.
Whitaker, M.
Xavier, S.
Young, K.
Younger, P.

Junichi Fukao

Assistant Professor
Graduate School of Film Producing
Toho University

Tamils in Protohistoric Sri Lanka:
 A Study of Megalithic Culture of Sri Lanka
Saturday, June 2nd | 12:30 - 2:30 PM

In the present social and political context of Sri Lanka where internal conflicts between Tamils and Sinhalese persist, the popular claim that the present island of Ceylon has been an original homeland of Sinhalese people since ancient times gains a wide and chauvinistic support among Sinhalese population. When we turn our eyes to archaeological evidences, we can find the fact that one of the characteristic types of proto-historic pottery, Black-and-Red ware, shows a very extensive distribution from northern to southern parts of Sri Lanka, including Anuradhapura. It seems that this fact will suggest the possibility of the existence of fairly uniform cultural traits expanding all over Sri Lanka even in the proto-historic period. Can we identify it as the culture of Sinhalese? But, on the other hand, if we consider megalithic funeral monuments in Sri Lanka, like cist burials found at Ibbankatuva near Dambulla and urn burials found at Pomparippu, we must say that proto-historic culture of Sri Lanka had a strong connection with the contemporary cultural trait found in the southern part of Indian subcontinent. What is a relationship between Sri Lankan megaliths and South Indian Megalithic Culture? Does it reflect the cultural relationship between proto-historic Sri Lanka and Dravidian south India? In order to understand the role of Tamil communities on the proto-history of Sri Lanka, I would like to focus on megalithic culture in this region, and compare it with south Indian equivalent so that we can consider the identity of Tamils in proto-historic Sri Lanka.

Dr. Fukao's research theme is south Indian protohistoric culture, especially about Megalithic Culture. But also interested in Tamil cinemas and the socio-cultural influence of Indian Ocean tsunami on south India. Main articles includes 'The position of dolmens in South Indian Megalithic Culture', Gauravam: recent researches in indology, New Delhi 1996, and 'Tennintiya perunkar pataikkalap panpattil matpantankalin vakaippatu', Avanam, no.6, Tamilnadu Archaeological Society, Thanjavur 1995, etc.