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The time line of dispersal is either post-Ashokan or early Mauryan period.
The lowermost level potsherd had scripts peculiar to Tamil characters and, in addition, a distinctive shape for the letter m.
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.
Apart from Sinhala-Brahmi, there are Tamil-Brahmi writings found in Sri Lanka from Kantharodai in the north to Tissamaharama in the south which are dated to the 2nd century BCE.
The Bhattiprolu inscription found in present-day Andhra Pradesh also shows systemic but not paleographic similarity to Tamil Brahmi.
This appears to be an adaptation to Dravidian phonotactics, where words commonly end in consonants, as opposed to Prakrit, where this never occurs.
According to Mahadevan, in the earliest stages of the script the inherent vowel was either abandoned, as above, or the bare consonant was ambiguous as to whether it implied a short a or not.Further, there is omission of voiced consonants, aspirates and sibilants peculiar to Tamil-Brahmi.This phenomenon is not confined to the Kodumanal in Kongu Nadu but found throughout the Tamil Nadu, Kerala and in Jaffna peninsula of Sri Lanka.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.Tamil Brahmi differs in several ways from Ashokan Brahmi.