With their earliest settlements on the north-north-west coasts, the Dravidians would probably tend to spread out north, north-east and east, and a southerly line of retreat would be the most natural one for the Papuans.'
The languages of the south are Dravidian, not Sanskritic. The letters of both classes of languages, which also vary considerably, are all modifications of the ancient Pali, and probably derived from the Dravidians, not from the Aryans.
The population of India comprises at least three strata: firstly, uncivilized aborigines, such as the Kols and Santhals, and secondly, the Dravidians (Tamils, Kanarese, &c.), who perhaps represent the earliest northern invaders, and appear to have attained some degree of culture on their own account.
The most recent authorities are of opinion that the Kolarians and Dravidians represent a single physical type; but, whatever the historical explanation may be, they certainly have different languages and show different stages of civilization.
Among the Dravidians a cobra which is accidentally killed is burned like a human being; no one would kill one intentionally; the serpent-god's image is carried in an annual procession by a celibate priestess.
Our earliest glimpses of India disclose two races struggling for the soil, the Dravidians, a dark-skinned race of aborigines, and the Aryans, a fair-skinned people, descending from Legends.
Ultimately the Dravidians were driven back into the southern tableland, and the great plains of Hindustan were occupied by the Aryans, who dominated the history of India for many centuries thereafter.
It is supposed that sea-going merchants, mostly Dravidians, and not Aryans, availing themselves of the monsoons, traded in the 7th century B.C. from the south-west ports of India to Babylon, and that there they became acquainted with a Semitic alphabet, which they brought back with them, and from which all the alphabets now used in India, Burma, Siam and Ceylon have been gradually evolved.
(a) Unorganized (religions of the Japanese, Dravidians, Finns, Esths, the ancient Arabs, the ancient Pelasgi, the Old-Italian peoples, the Etruscans (?), the Old-Slays).
In Baluchistan, even yet, we find side by side with the eponymous Iranian inhabitants, who il T~b only penetrated thither a few centuries ago, the ~ es ethnologically and philologically distinct race of the Brahui, who are probably connected with the Dravidians of India.
Craniometrical evidence strongly favours the theory, now generally accepted, that they represent a branch of the pre-Aryan Dravidians of southern India, and that their ancestors probably made a settlement in the island of Ceylon in prehistoric times, detaching themselves from a migrating horde which passed through the island to find at last a permanent home in the continent of Australia.
The ancient Dravidians, of whom the B.rahui is typical, still exist in many of the districts which are assigned to them in Herodotus.