May 26, 2011
date Thu, May 26, 2011 at 3:46 PM
subject [breakingindia] Ongoing Pattanam excavations and missionary fabrications
What happens at Pattanam?
The historical Chera capital Muziris at Kodungallur in Thrissur district of Kerala has aroused much curiosity among archaeologists and historians. It is not just the status of Chera monarchy which escalates the position of Muziris in history. As a premier port in west coast involved in maritime trade with Mediterranean region, Muziris gained importance along with Arikamedu in east coast of Tamilnadu. Sites in and around Kodungallur where early Muziris is supposed to have been located was excavated by veteran archaeologists such as P.Anujan Achan (1947), K.V.Raman and K.V.Saundararajan (1969-70). Archaeological sites such as Cheraman Parambu, Thiruvanchikulam, Karuppadanna, Mathilakam, Kilatali and Thrikkulasekharapuram provided cultural remains of iron and copper tools, glass beads, semi precious stones, ceramics of dull red ware, celadon ware roof tiles, earthen lamps and coins. They are all dated between 900-1100 A.D.
Currently the Kerala Council of Historical Research backed by the dept of culture, Govt. of Kerala launched a mammoth cultural project – Muziris Heritage project. It excavated Pattanam a site in Eranakulam district of Kerala. As admitted by Dr,P.J.Cheriyan, director of the excavations, the site of Pattanam was identified from documents of a Portuguese Priest –Bishop Francisco Ros S. J. Dr. P.J.Cheriyan is neither an archaeologist nor a faculty in Ancient Indian history. The theme of his Ph.D research was “Communist movement in Vayalar-Punnpra region of south Kerala”. The consultants involved in Pattanam excavation are modern historians such as Prof: K.N.Panikar, K.N.Ganesh, Michal Tharakan and K.K.N.Kurup who have been pivotal in fabricating and interpreting the 1921 Muslim rioting and spine chilling Hindu Carnage in Malabar as peasant uprising and freedom struggle.
With these cultural remains the chronology of Pattanam has been taken back to 1000 B.C and declared ‘Alexandria of the East’. Further P.J.Cheriyan director of the excavations has proclaimed that the Pattanam excavations hints to a ‘Pre-Brahmanic (Read pre-Hindu) south India’, with Mediterranean cultural links. The Minister for cultural M.A.Baby has made an official declaration holding ‘Benale’ festival- an Italian festival from Kodungallur to Kochi. Extravagant publicity has been given in print and visual media, especially controlled by left groups and Christian denominations. Rupees 200 crores has been announced for setting up 25 museums in the region and applying for World Heritage site status from UNESCO. The left and the Christian religious groups also intend to construct a Roman Christian heritage colony commemorating apostle Thomas. Unaccounted money has been pouring in for this project, from out side India.
“South India has a Pre-Brahminic past which links it with west Asia and the Mediterranean” This whimsical yet premeditated statement was made by Dr.P.J.Cherian , Director of Pattanam excavations, while addressing students at Newman’s collage , Muvattupuzha in Eranakulam distict. Dr.Cherian did not give just a conventional statement at a gathering . It was well orchestrated with divisive and communal objectives reminiscent of Bishop Robert Caldwell and such Christian missionaries who launched racial and ethnic theories of Aryan and Dravidian, north and south to undermine India’s cultural integrity.
Metropolitan Mar Aprem Mookan of church of east and also head of St: Eprem Ecumenical Research Institute in Kerala issued a statement in 2011 that attempts to trace the Syrian Christian link with St:Thomas has received a stimulus when 180 rare documents were digitized. .Dr.P.J.Cheriyan applauded the Metropolitan and stated that such an edition of religious texts of St:Thomas Christians is a turning point in history. Dr.Cheriyan further stated that recent excavations in Kerala have found evidence of a 2000 year old port city at a site-pattanam-where St:Thomas is believed to have landed in 52 A.D.
At this juncture in April 2011 Bishop of Kottappuram Dr. Joseph Karikkasserry addressed a congregation of the faithful at St:Thomas church of Kodungallur constructed as a monument to Apostle Thomas. The Bishop urged that the St:Thomas church should be included in the Muziris Heritage Project which is part of Pattanam archeological excavations.
Except a small brick wall described as a wharf, the Pattanam excavations have neither unearthed structures nor settlement remains, or such rich antiquities. Few Mediterranean ceramics such as Terra siggilatta (8 sherds) Turquoise glazed patlery (161 sherds) twelve fragments of Roman glass bowls, megalithic beads as well as Rouletted ware, human bone fragments and 8 sherds with Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions have been unearthed from Pattanam and has been interpreted as one of the biggest urban sites in south India. The vacant trenches at the site provides no evidence rather no construction of any settlement in the past to resemble urban morphology. What they described as a wharf was nothing but a recent construction using burnt red bricks and cement. It has been demolished and dumped at a corner. The trenches are being filled with soil and closed by them to prevent further enquiries.
There are strong doubts whether certain antiquities have been really excavated or implanted at the site.
This is a part of well orchestrated religio-political strategy to identify Pattanam as ancient Muziris and corroborate it as the mythical arrival place of St:Thomas to India, his conversion of native Hindus and his martyrdom at the hands of Shaivaite Brahmins .The left intends to prove theoretically with fabricated archeological data that urbanization in south India was the out come of bustling trade with Mediterranean. With the decline of Roman Empire the trade received a set back which led to urban decay in south India. The out come was a dark period followed by growth of temples, caste system, slavery and dominance of Brahmanical feudalism.
The excavations at Pattanam intend to provide an ideological mileage to left. Simultaneously it juxtaposes the cultural chronology with the arrival of St: Thomas. The political left in Kerala intends to hijack the traditional Christian vote bank of the Congress party. As a gesture the left has promised providing historical validity to the St:Thomas tradition of converting Hindus. The left historians and cultural intelligentsia terms this process as multi cultural synthesis. The Christian denominations in Kerala has already demanded making of St: Thomas tradition part of Muziris Heritage project, and declare his assassination by Shaivate Brahmins as history.
The hand bone of apostle Thomas is currently exhibited as ‘sacred remains’ at the St: Thomas Church of Kodungallur which is heading to get the status of heritage museum and pilgrimage centre.
Such is the eagerness to fabricate facts and prove that Christianity was established in Kerala nearly 900 years before the growth of Hindu society. It intends to substantiate that the socio-cultural development of Hindus is based on a strong ideological and cultural foundation provided by the Christian church.
Conclusions have already been drawn before the pattanam excavations were launched. It is intends to prove that Kerala as a geo-cultural zone had little interaction beyond Vindhyas. The cultural growth of kerala was stimulated by its interaction with Mediterranean culture. If any evidence of Kerala interactions with greater India exits it has been develop in the last one millennium through Brahmanical migrations and cast ideology.
To disprove such fabrications which will transform into political movements and bifurcation issues as in Nagaland and Kashmir,we have launched the Muzuris Heritage protection council as the first step of ideological encounter. Historians and archaeologists have contributed articles on various aspects of Muzuris. We request a valuable article from you on a topic untouched by others. The excavations are intended to demolish the cultural status of Kodungallur, the richest cultural site in Kerala and invent a new site to suit the joint interests of left and the church. The Christian church intends to take its antiquity 800 years before Sri.Shankaracharya using archeology and make a claim that Advaita is a gift of the Christian church to the Indian cultural foundations. Further the church aims to legitimize its claim to proselytization.