More studies are needed at Pattanam and other archaeological sites in the State, says M.G.S. Narayanan. The eminent historian says that several myths exist regarding the State’s history that can only be busted through detailed studies. An example he gives is that of the ports of Pattanam and Muziris.
“There is nothing to prove that Pattanam and Muziris were the same place. Yet, there is a wide-spread belief that they are,” says Prof. Narayanan.
Inscriptions on copper plates made by the Cheraman Perumal around 900 A.D. grant rights to the first Jewish settlers in the State led by Joseph Rabban. These inscriptions made at Kodungalloor describe a port called ‘Muziri.’ The port was wiped out years later by a flood of the Periyar.
Prof. Narayanan says excavations made at Pattanam so far only indicate that it was a bead-making centre where there was plenty of trade. Only more detailed excavations can establish beyond dispute that Pattanam and Muziris were the same place.
“Only a small compound has been excavated at Pattanam. Sites like Mohenjo Dara and Arikamedu stretch across acres. There should be proper exploration by trained archaeologists of the ASI. Marine archaeology experts should also be called in to examine the site,” says Prof. Narayanan.