Friday, August 5, 2011

Pattanam and Muziris-

Time has not come to identify Pattanam as Muziris,

Time has not come to identify Pattanam as Muziris, R. Nagaswamy, former Vice-Chancellor of Kanchipuram University, has said.
In his inaugural address at a seminar on ‘Muziris heritage and Pattanam excavations — a critical review' organised by the Muziris Heritage Preservation Forum here on Thursday, Dr. Nagaswamy, former Director of the Tamil Nadu State Archaeology Department, said that many scholars had written that a part of Kodungalloor could have been Muziris.
“It would be advisable that Kodungalloor is also excavated, like Pattanam, extensively. Let both materials be compared before arriving at any conclusion. We have to wait for more excavations. Archaeology requires a lot of evidence. We cannot jump into conclusions. I think there is need to excavate Kodungalloor region also and then compare the findings,” he said.
Praising the excavators for the good job done at Pattanam, Dr. Nagaswamy, who visited the Pattanam excavation site on Thursday morning, said it was really striking and wonderful that an enormous number of a particular type of potsherd has been found in a very small area. These are storage jars with double handle and conical bottoms used for storing olive oil, wine, fish, etc, he said.
‘Extraordinary finds'
Stating that P.J. Cherian, Director, Kerala Council for Historical Research, had told him that about 6,800 broken pottery of this particular variety had been found in three trenches at the site, Dr. Nagaswamy said this was extraordinary. He said that this referred to the presence of a big population, which had come down by way of trade to the west coast.
Dr. Nagaswamy said that square copper coins (on one side elephant and on the other bows and arrows) had also been found at the site. “These type of coins were issued in the beginning of the Christian era. But what has not been found is one type of highly polished red type of pottery with the stamp of Roman potters. That has been found in the east coast in excavations near Puducherry,” he said.
Dr. Nagaswamy said there was lack of evidence to show that the artefacts unearthed at Pattanam came specifically from Rome. ‘‘We are yet to get more information that this is connected directly to Italy,'' he said.
T. Sathyamoorthy, former Director, Department of Archaeology, Kerala, presided. The ‘Muziris-Attimariyude Reethisasthram' published by the Muziris Heritage Preservation Forum was released on the occasion.

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