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Tolkappiyam in stanza 16 and 17 mentions dots added to consonants.The author of Tolkappiyam displays awareness of a writing system and the graphic system as he knew it corresponds with later writing systems.There are a number of inscriptions whose dates have not been settled yet.Nevertheless, a number of theories have been put forward based on literary, epigraphic and archeological evidence.Later stages of Tamil Brahmi returned to the inherent vowel that was the norm in India.The origins of Brahmi in general and Tamil Brahmi specifically are unclear.The consensus is a 3rd-century "post-Ashokan" dispersal, but since the year 2000, there have been two serious candidates for a pre-Ashokan date.References to writing are also available in early Tamil literature.
It adds several letters for sounds not found in Prakrit: ṉ ṟ ṛ ḷ.
However, these early instances of Brahmi were not considered to be examples of Tamil-Brahmi.
In 2013, Rajan and Yatheeskumar published excavations at Porunthal and Kodumanal in Tamil Nadu, where numerous both Tamil-Brahmi and "Prakrit"-Brahmi inscriptions and fragments have been found.
The closest resemblance to Tamil-Brahmi is to its neighboring Sinhala-Brahmi.
Both seem to use similar letters to indicate phonemes that are unique to Dravidian languages although Sinhala-Brahmi was used to write an Indo-Aryan Prakrit used in the island of Sri Lanka.