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Lying on the Edge of the Burning Ground: Rethinking Tinais

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This paper seeks to interrogate the prevailing paradigm in the historiography of early Tamil Nad, which treats tinais as constituting the geographic basis for early economic practices. On the one hand the case of Kodumanal excavations is juxtaposed as an archaeological instance vis-à-vis tinais. On the other, it is argued through a close reading of Sangam texts that tinais were aesthetic structures employed in the configuration of space in Sangam mythopoeic imagination. It is also argued that the form and content of the tinai-based aesthetics reveals the crisis of a milieu in transition towards early statedom. Cet article cherche à interroger le paradigme régnant en historiographie du Tamoul tôt Nad, ce qui traite des tinais en tant que constitution de la base géographique pour des pratiques économiques tôt. D'une part la caisse d'excavations de Kodumanal est juxtaposée comme exemple archéologique vis-à-vis des tinais. De l'autre, on lui discute par une lecture étroite des textes de Sangam que les tinais étaient les structures esthétiques utilisées dans la configuration de l'espace dans l'imagination mythopoeic de Sangam. On lui discute également que la forme et le contenu de l'esthétique tinai-basée indique la crise d'un milieu dans la transition vers le statedom tôt.


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