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‘New appraisal of Kerala history possible’

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another perspective: Talk by Dr. Shinu Abraham at a history colloquium organised by the Kerala Council for Historical Research in the city on Thursday. – Photo: S.Mahinsha
another perspective: Talk by Dr. Shinu Abraham at a history colloquium organised by the Kerala Council for Historical Research in the city on Thursday. – Photo: S.Mahinsha

Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Recent archaeological research in Kerala will enable an entirely new appraisal of the State’s ancient history, according to anthropologist and archaeologist Shinu Abraham.

Dr. Shinu Abraham, who is an assistant professor at St. Lawrence University in New York, said this while delivering a lecture on ‘Chiefdom, Kingdom, or State? Looking Outside India to understand Ancient Kerala.’

History colloquium

The lecture was at a history colloquium organised by the Kerala Council for Historical Research here on Thursday.

Referring to the recent excavations done at the ancient coastal port of Pattanam (near Kodungallur in Thrissur district), she said that the evidences obtained could provide a new direction to history research in Kerala and ‘Thamizhakam’.

She said that historians tended to reconstruct ancient history by bringing it under terms such as chiefdom, State and kingdom.

But, would it answer all the questions, she asked, adding that the organisational structure in the early times would not have been so well defined.

Social complexities

She said researchers outside were now looking at social complexities within historical periods that were earlier categorised and described as signposts.

Such studies could be modelled here too to understand what had happened in ancient Kerala.

Dr. Shinu Abraham described certain similarities between the archaeological evidences obtained in Kerala and the research findings from certain other ancient societies such as Maya, Bronze Age Mediterranean and Southeast Asia.

She said that such comparisons could throw fresh light on the ancient history of Kerala, as well as the other regions.

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