47 the seventh century B.C. to the first and second centuries AD. From the evidence ofthe añgam literature we find that such urn-burials were in vogue inthe Tamil country as late as the second and. third centuries A.D By a closer comparison of our artefacts with their opposite numbers inthe South Indian sites as well as on the basis of stratigraphy it is possible to arrive at a specific date for the Pomparippu burials. But unfortunately, the excavations at Pomparippu have not been systematically completed nor has a comparative study been undtaken. Till these things are done it is impossible for a non-archaeologist to pronounce a judgment on this vital question. The Adichchanallr and Perumbair sites inthe Tinnevelly district can be dated to about the third century E.0 Considering the fact that our artefacts bear the closest similarity to those ofthe latter sites, it may not be wrong to assign them to about the same period. Al]. that could be said for the present is that the Poinparippu site is earlier than the third century L.D. and. is one ofthe earliest settlement sites oftheDravidiana inCeylon. T pking into consideration the location ofthe site, near the mouth ofthe Kafl Oya, close to the pearl bnkR and only a few miles south ofthe ancient, 1. K.R.Sriuivasan, . cit., pp. 9 U. 2. K.R.Srinivasan and N.R.Banerjee, . ., p. 113.
48 though lesser known, ports of Kutirimlai and Pa].lugatuai, where ancient ruins are still to be seen, it is possible that this originated as a settlement of traders as well as pearl-divers and fishermen from the opposite coast. It is diZficult to say whether these Dravidians continued to survive as a distinct group till later times when Pomparippu definitely becomes k.nown to us as a Tstmil area, or whether they were assimilated to the local Sinhalese population before long. The proximity to as well as the continuous relations with South India may have helped them to maintaintheir ethnic identity for a long time. But these are matters of speculation. Another possible megalithic site is to be found in Katiraveji, on the north-eastern coast ofthe island. Some years back, Paranavitana discovered here several rude slabs of stone, cut to some size aDid shape, scattered. about the place, but not without some order. These stones 'lie in groups of four or five; andthere are nnm1takable signs tbat some ofthem may have been set up on the ground. There is one group which still shows the original structure' Paranavitana also found 'other relics of hunmn occupation' On the basis ofthe description of such a structure inthe Paramatta-jotik, be 1. C.J.Sc.(, II, pp. 91_95. 2. Ibid., p. 95.