61 for, it is unlikely that Nahinda II distributed horses to the Taxnils living in all parts ofthe kingdom. That these Tamils refused cattle and acdepted horses may mean that they were not a settled peasantry but mercenaries who had more use for horses than for cattle. But this, however, is a flimsy evidence andthe Tamils who received horses were probably a few mercenary leaders. It is inthe thIih and tenth centuries that we again get any definite epigraphic and archaeological evidence, though meagre, pointing to Dravidia.n settlemOnts. For the first time inthese centuries, Tamil inscriptions come to light and Sinhalese inscriptions refer to Tamil lands and villages. The earliest ofthe ruins of iva temples are also datable to the same period. Several Saiva ruins, aptly termed the Tamil Ruins, have been discovered in a section ofthe norbhern quarter of Anurdhapura These ruins consist of temples and residences for priests, with some lesser buildings scattered here andthere. Some ofthese are ivali.ga temples while some others are dedicated to the mother goddess. Several stone lifigas, too, have been unearthed in this area. Al]. the shrines are of ome design, which is simple and reminiscent ofthe style of early Dravidian temples. These have a vestibule (antaria), a middle—room (ardhama4) and a sanctum (garbha-gha), and were all built of brick 1. £S.C.A.R. for 1892, p. 5 ; A.S.C.A.R. for 1893, p. 5.
asentents These aiva ruins of Anurdhapura, according to ParaxLavitana, belong to the 'latest period of that city's history' The style ofthese temples, which is in marked contrast to the embellished granite temples ofthe Ca and later ?eriods, is undoubtedly pre-Ca and, therefore, belongs to about the ninth century, if not earlier. This date for these ruins, or at least for most ofthem, has also been cnfirmed by the Tamil inscriptions found among them, these being the earliest known Tamil records inthe island. Two ofthem are dated in regna]. years of Ciiicañka-pti rya (Skt. Sri Sagbabodhi Mhrja) who has been identified as Aggabodhi III (629-639) by Krishna Sastri This identification rests on the consecration name, Sababodhi, and on the script oftheinscriptions. He seems ts have been guided mainly by the consecration name or 'throne name', judging from his statement: 'The writing employed inthe records is sufficiently archaic to be referred to the time of Aggabodhi III, who according to theCeylonese chronicle Mahvasa, was surnamed Sin Sahabodhi' Apparently, Sastri was not aware ofthe fact 62 1. A.S.C.A.R.for 1893, p. 5. 2. U.C.H.C., I, pt. 1, p. 386. 3, S.I.I., IV, Nos, 1k03, lkOk. li. M.E.R. for 1913, p. 103. 5. Ibid.