Kerala

Survey of Muziris hinterland to begin soon

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The archaeological importance of Muziris should be viewed in consonance with the Periyar river valley culture, dating back to initial human habitation, according to historian P.J. Cherian. The banks of the river is rich with archaeological remains from 5th century BC to 5th century AD.

Mr. Cherian, former director, Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR), who led a team supported by MES College, Nedumkandam, had a four-day excavation work in the district as part of a project, Periyar Riverbank Surface Survey, jointly sponsored by PAMA, a trust for trans-disciplinary archaeology science, and TATA Research Centre.

He told The Hindu on Sunday there was enough evidence to show that the hinterland contributed a lot to make Muziris a major port.

That was a society much advanced, producing not only spices but also materials not meant for local consumption. This is evident from the coins discovered from the district. Dolmens and burial urns are also pointers to an advanced culture. “More scientific studies have to be done to preserve the remnants of early habitations on the banks of the Periyar and its tributaries,” he said.

The project, with the support of local community, is aimed at preserving archaeological evidence locally and opening it for international analysis. He said archaeological evidence should be protected at the place it is discovered. That was why Muziris Museum was opened at the area where the evidence was excavated. “A visitor should go to the spot to see the evidence,” he said.

Group of experts

The project will select a group of experts from the district in the first phase, he said.

The bones collected from Thovalpady, near Ramakkalmedu, was sent for carbon dating to the University of Georgia. It was a precious evidence of a very early settlement there, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:09:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/survey-of-muziris-hinterland-to-begin-soon/article22445004.ece

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