Peoples and Cultures of Early Sri Lanka is primarily a work of science. Although
the subject essentially concerns the prehistory and proto-history of South Asian
peoples, Dr. Siva Thiagarajah has accomplished his objective mainly through the integration
of the scientific disciplines of Human Genetics, Archaeology and Biological Anthropology.
This book is intended not only for the academic but also for the average reader;
hence all the intricacies of human genetics are explained in simple terms for everyone
to follow without difficulty.
Dr Siva Thiagarajah is taking us on a journey through time over a period of some
55,000 years from the arrival of the first Homo sapiens in South Asia to the beginnings
of the historical period. As we embark on this epoch-making journey evidences from
Population Genetics, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Ecology, Palaeontology,
Numismatics, Early Epigraphy and Linguistics are skilfully integrated into the narrative
to produce this scientific tour-de-force.
Population Genetics is the science for the twenty-first century. For the first time
a book dealing with the prehistory of South Asian peoples, specifically people of
the island of Sri Lanka based on their genetic foundations is presented to the academia
and to the general public. Human genetics is a specific science, and the history
of man based on this science is the most accurate and absolutely reliable of them
all. Within the next few decades we will be seeing departments of Human Genetics
sprouting in our national universities; for the history books of the future will
be mainly based on the DNAs of its populations.
Dr Siva Thiagarajah
Dr Thiagarajah is now retired after working as a medical doctor for 40 years in Sri
Lanka and in the UK. His long time interest in history and archaeology, and his specialised
training in genetically inherited disorders have provided the background to produce
the book ‘Peoples and Cultures of Early Sri Lanka’. Apart from archaeological and
historical research, he has researched the early religious history of South Asia
to produce the work ‘Tamils and their Religions’. He also has produced a Tamil translation
of the Sumerian epic, ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’, discovered through archaeology.