P.J. Cherian, Director of the Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR), has been awarded a visiting fellowship by Oxford University in recognition of his leadership of the multi-disciplinary archaeological research at Pattanam.

The fellowship is for the Michaelmas Term, October-November 2010.

In a statement, the university said: ?Dr. Cherian will spend time at the School of Archaeology and at Keble College as a Visiting Fellow, sharing ideas and contributing to the vitality of the Oxford's research community. His stay further offers the opportunity for an important conference on Indian Ocean trade that will bring together multiple institutions and disciplines.?

The fellowship, it added, would deepen Dr. Cherian's understanding of new theoretical and methodological developments in archaeology, and contribute to ensuring that Pattanam continued to be excavated and interpreted to the highest standards.

The university and the KCHR signed a memorandum of understanding in April facilitating academic exchanges and joint training programmes.

?It is hoped that Oxford's recognised strengths in archaeological sciences in particular will help to support the critical research being undertaken at Pattanam,? the university said.