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The earliest written history of the Maldives was marked by the arrival of Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka and the Maldives (Mahiladvipika) circa 543 to 483 BC, as reported in the Mahavansa.Their settlement marks a significant change in demographics and the development of the Indo-Aryan language Dhivehi language.Isdhoo Lōmāfānu is the oldest copper-plate book to have been discovered in the Maldives to date.The book was written in AD 1194 (590 AH) in the Evēla form of the Divehi akuru, during the reign of Siri Fennaadheettha Mahaa Radun (Dhinei Kalaminja).Malé is the capital and most populated city, traditionally called the "King's Island" for its central location.
first published in 1563 as follows: "I must tell you that I have heard it said that the natives do not call it Maldiva but Nalediva.
), is a South Asian island country, located in the Indian Ocean, situated in the Arabian Sea. The chain of 26 atolls stretches from Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to the Addu City in the south.
Comprising a territory spanning roughly 298 square kilometres (115 sq mi), the Maldives is one of the world's most geographically dispersed countries, as well as the smallest Asian country by both land area and population, with around 427,756 inhabitants.
A strong underlying layer of Dravidian population and culture survives in Maldivian society, with a clear Tamil-Malayalam substratum in the language, which also appears in place names, kinship terms, poetry, dance, and religious beliefs.
Malabari seafaring culture led to the settlement of the Islands by Malayali seafarers.
Fishing has historically been the dominant economic activity, and remains the largest sector by far, followed by the rapidly growing tourism industry.