Learn about ‘Muziris Papyrus’

Tracing the past: A view of Cheraman Parambu in Kodungalloor, considered to be the site of a palace of the last king of the Chera dynasty. It is now part of the Muziris Heritage Project.  

Come August, the Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) will open a window to Kerala’s hoary past, to a time when there was a vibrant trade link between the legendary town of Muziris and countries in the Mediterranean.

Excavations in the Pattanam area led by the KCHR since 2006 have yielded evidence of Kerala’s ancient maritime links with regions in West Asia, Africa and Europe. A two-week course on ‘Muziris Papyrus’ that the council plans to offer in August is the result of a memorandum of understanding it signed in 2008 with the University of Rome.

“The Muziris Papyrus, which is a loan agreement signed between a merchant and a financier from Alexandria, Egypt, for an expedition to Muziris, is perhaps the only ‘primary document’ which records Kerala’s maritime, cultural interfaces in the second century AD. In fact it can be safely said that there are very few such documentary evidence about pre-eighth century Kerala,” P.J. Cherian, Director of the council, told The Hindu-EducationPlus.

The Muziris course will be led by Federico de Romanis, Professor at the University of Rome. The course syllabus prepared by the council shows that the participants will initially be familiarised with the Greek alphabet. Then they will be given an introduction to the reading of the Papyrus.

There will be a general introduction to Papyrology and to Papyrological websites.

There will be sessions on role of Indo-Roman trade in the Roman economy and on pepper production and consumption in the ancient world.

There will also be a diachronic comparison between the Roman, Arab, Chinese and Portuguese import of black pepper.

The eligibility for signing up for the course is an interest in the topic, Mr. Cherian said. There are no barriers of age or of academic qualifications. Only thing, the number of participants will be restricted to 50. “We want people from all walks of life to come and study this subject and carry on further inquiries,” he said.

The last date for submitting applications is July 23. The council will aid outstation candidates to identify accommodation. The course fee is Rs. 3,000.

Details can be had from the council on ph: (0471) 231 0409 or 657 4977. E-mail:

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 3:53:18 AM |

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