The Kerala Government on Wednesday approved a centrally supported Rs. 140-crore heritage conservation project for promoting research and preservation activities linked to the ancient port site of “Muziris” (Kodungallur) and the adjoining areas.

The project was approved in view of recent findings by excavations and historians that ‘Muziris’, as the port town in Thrissur district was known in ancient records, was one of the most ancient maritime trade centres, even having commercial links with the Roman empire.

The recent excavations led by the Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR), found a lot of evidence like shards of Roman jars from the area, shedding light into Kerala’s trade links with the Western world.

The project was meant to conserve historical monuments and build heritage museums, throwing light on Kerala’s global maritime connections, with West Asia and Europe.

The spots identified under the project are Vadakkekkara, North Paravur, Chittanikkara and Pallippuram in Ernakulam and Kodungallur, S N Puram, Eriyad, Mathilakam and Methala in Thrissur district, Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan told reporters.

Half the amount for executing the project would be provided by the Centre.