தொல்தமிழர் அறிவியல் –123 : 41. பண்டைய துறைமுகங்கள்
பண்டைய தமிழர்கள் சங்க காலத்திற்கு முன்பிருந்தே கடல் வணிகத்தில் ஈடுபட்டிருந்தனர் என்பதற்கான சான்றுகள் இலக்கியங்கள் உள்ளிட்ட தொல்லியல் தொடர்பான ஆவணங்களிலும் காணக் கிடைக்கின்றன. கி. மு. மூன்றாம் நூற்றாண்டிற்கு முன்பே தமிழகத்தில் பதினாறு துறைமுகங்களின் வழி வணிகம் நடைபெற்றுள்ளது. ஏற்றுமதி, இறக்குமதி, சுங்கச்சாவடி, துறைமுகக் கட்டமைப்பு, கலங்கரை விளக்கம் இன்னபிற கடல் வணிகச் செய்திகள் மேற்சுட்டியுள்ள சங்கச் செய்யுட்கள் வாயிலாக அறியமுடிகிறது. கடல் கடந்த நாடுகளோடு பண்டைய தமிழர்கள் கொண்டிருந்த வணிக உறவு, தமிழ்மொழி, தமிழர் பண்பாடு, கலை, இலக்கியங்கள், இயற்கை வளங்கள் பல நாடுகளிலும் பரவ வழிவகுத்தது.
“About twenty quotations drawn from various anthologies of Sangam Age such as Maduraik-kanchi, Pattinappalai, Patirrruppathu, Akananooru, Natrinai, Paripadal and Purananooru exemplify that exits business was in full swing in the ancient Tamil Nadu of Pre-christian era. Poopukar, Dhanushkodi, Korkai and Saliyoor were the well known coastal cities that had harbours to facilitate the national as well as International trade. Saliyoor referred to in Maduraikanchi is yet to identified.
These harbor towns had their godowns and warehouses with provisions for registering and sealing the ins and outs of various commodities. The high-bred stallions and mares seem to have been imported. As per the quotes noted above, things that were exported are more than those imported. Pearls, Conches, Bangles, Gems Spices, Salt and Jaggery are the goods that were sold off the alien traders.
Obvious it is that the ancient merchant navy was consisting of huge boats fitted with sails. The ancient Tamils must have known the expertise of navigating their wooden boats by hoisting the sails, taking advantage of favourable winds.
Those boats must have been huge in size as it is referred to in Akananooru. “ ”உலகு கிளர்ந்தன்ன உருகெழு வங்கம்.”
When foreign trade was flourishing, it is but natural to see a sporadic piracy. Those who were indulging in these undesirable activities were subjugated by no less than Senguttuvan the Chera king. It is explained that the king ordered his warriors to a number of islets where the pirates were harbouring themselves and saw to it that their activities were curbed.
Extracts from various anthologies of Sangam literature show that in the eastern coast of India, there were about 16 ports facilitating the import and export trade from ancient Tamil Nadu. Graphic descriptions of salt traders speak of them as sturdy and brave whose job seems to have been not only transporting salt from one place to another on the back of the white-necked donkeys but also to safeguard the passers-by and other public.
Merchant navy from Rome and Greece is specially mentioned and the traders and mariners were dealing with gold, pearl, stones, spices from Tamil Nadu. Muziris alias Musiri, Arikamedu near Puduchery, Korkai, Kaveripoompattinam, Mamallapuram were the well-known ports in the 3rd century B.C. A prominent overseas trade must have been in function in those days. The rulers of Chera dynasty were administering the overseas trade with their ships.
Barter economy was popularly prevalent in ancient Tamils even though coins are found in the archaeological excavations.
Vide:- The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.”
-Wikipedia- Times of India. 20/06/2017. –Editor.-------தொடரும்…..