Rare urn found at Panthalayani port

It has been shifted to Pazhassi Raja Archaeological Museum

October 11, 2017 12:48 am | Updated 12:48 am IST - Kozhikode

A rare urn that was recently discovered at Panthalayani Kollam in Kozhikode.

A rare urn that was recently discovered at Panthalayani Kollam in Kozhikode.

An urn, believed to be dating back to the fifth century, has been discovered from Panthalayani Kollam of Kozhikode, which was an ancient port.

The 94-cm, well-baked, globular urn with a pedunculated bottom was discovered last week from the site and has now been shifted to the Pazhassi Raja Archaeological Museum at East Hill in the city.

The site has significance since some historians believed that Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama anchored his ships at Panthalayani port. “However, more studies are needed to ascertain the age of the urn,” K. Krishnaraj of the Department of Archaeology, told The Hindu on Tuesday.

He said urns with pedunculated bottom were extensively excavated from Amrithamangalam in Tamil Nadu by archaeologist N.R. Banerjee in 1955.

“These types of urns are very rare in Kerala. The bud like projection at the bottom pins the urns into the earth and helps to keep them in position,” he said.

Last year, Mr. Krishnaraj said the broken bottom of such an urn was discovered from the playground of Poovambayi Higher Secondary School in Kinalur recently. The newly-discovered urn was from a plot belonging to K. Khalil, near the Kollam Juma Masjid.

He said the “rim is featureless and the diameter mouth is 6 cm”.

The urn has a cord impressed pattern fabric, which is also a rarity. Three girth grooves are found on the upper part of the urn. However, its neck was very short.

Normally the capstones of megalithic burial urns are flat and circular. “But the capstone of this urn is a granite boulder with 15 cm in length and 12.5 cm width and weighs 3.64 kg. The urn itself contained nothing apart from gravely sand. And, the disturbed site has not yielded any grave goods or burial assemblages like carnelian beads, iron implements and bones,” said Mr. Krishnaraj.

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