|19 January 2008
Pattanam dated to 1st millennium BCE
The radiocarbon analysis at the Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar, has put the antiquity of Pattanam (Kerala, India) to the first millennium BCE. What is more, the studies suggest that the canoe found in a water-logged trench at Pattanam canoe could be the earliest known canoe in India.
The five samples that were analysed include charcoal samples and parts of the wooden canoe and bollards recovered from trenches. The mean calendar dates of these five samples place the antiquity of ancient maritime activity of Pattanam at about 500 BCE. The artefacts have revealed that the site had links with the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Arabian Sea and South China Sea rims since the Early Historic Period of South India.
"Pattanam is the first habitation site of the Iron Age ever unearthed in Kerala. Since previous enquiries were confined to megalithic burials, no firm dates were available for the Iron Age, except a few like Mangadu (circa 1000 BCE) and unnoni," said P.J. Cherian, project director of Pattanam excavations. The radiocarbon dates from Pattanam is therefore expected to help in understanding the Iron Age chronology of Kerala.
"The indigenous people seems to have settled on the site during the Iron Age when this area was covered by beach sand. The occupation has been sparse and the sand deposit has mostly black-and-red ware and other typical `megalithic' pottery," added P.J. Cherian.
The Archaeological Survey of India has granted licence to Project Director P.J. Cherian for a second consecutive season and the work is scheduled to begin in February 2008. Besides the excavation activities at Pattanam, the licences are for archaeological exploration within 50 km around Kodungallur and underwater explorations in the water-bodies within 20 km radius.
Source: Newsindpress (9 January 2008)
Share this webpage: