The British Museum here and the Thiruvananthapuram-based Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) have been jointly awarded this year's international partnership award by the British Academy.
The award, which carries a grant of £30,000, is aimed at promoting research collaboration between two partner-institutions, one Indian and one British.
The research proposal, titled “Indian Ocean Trade: the Archaeology of Technology,” by Roberta Tomber of the British Museum and P.J. Cherian of the KCHR, was based on major archaeological research work at the Pattanam site in central Kerala carried out over the last four seasons.
In a press release, the KCHR said the Pattanam excavation finds would be the “springboard” for a series of workshops that would investigate the culture and technology of the Indian Ocean trade through the themes of maritime technology, pottery and personal adornment.
“The grant will be utilised over the next three years to hold three research workshops at the KCHR. The workshops will be particularly geared towards the training of Indian students and researchers. The artefacts will be examined by a multi-disciplinary team of international experts, and the team will undertake an ethno-archaeology survey to understand the technological history of the items,” it said.
Professor Cherian is the Director of the KCHR and of the Pattanam excavations, while noted historian K.N. Panikkar is the Chairman of the KCHR. The self-governing and independent British Academy is the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and the social sciences. Established by Royal Charter in 1902, it has fellowship of over 800 scholars.