Pattanam excavation

Photos: Evidence of trade links between Kerala’s Pattanam and Rome

P.J. Cherian Giulia Rocco


The obverse and reverse of the Pattanam Sphinx intaglio (2020), which is similar to that on the seal ring used by Octavianus or Augustus Caesar. It is 1.2 cm long, 0.2 cm wide and 0.1 + cm thick. Photo: Photographs courtesy: PAMA and KCHR
The carnelian gem (2010) with the carving of a pouncing lion. Photo: photographs courtesy: PAMA and KCHR
The carnelian gem with the carving of Tyche or Fortuna (2014), the Graeco-Roman goddess of good luck. Photo: Mohamed A.
A brick platform near the wharf complex at Pattanam. Photo: credit
The wharf structure and the remains of a canoe. The canoe and seven bollards, carbon-dated to the 36 BCE-74 CE period, strengthen the possibility that the wharf and allied features excavated could be part of the Muziris port which thrived on the Periyar river delta 2,000 years ago. Photo: credit
Lead and copper coins.
Copper objects.
Iron objects were found from the lowest to the uppermost layers at the site.
Iron objects.
Finely carved inlays or ring-stones made of semi-precious stones.
The wide variety of gold jewellery fragments retrieved from Pattanam.
Glass beads, also known as Indo-Pacific beads, form the largest volume of artefacts retrieved, after pottery, from Pattanam. Photo: credit
Bone remains from Pattanam. DNA and radiocarbon analysis of the bone samples validates the idea of a cultural admixing at the Pattanam site 2,000 years ago. Photo: credit
Turquoise Glazed Pottery (TGP) sherds in deep and light green belong to the Mesopotamian and South Arabian region. Its tradition goes back to the 6th century BCE and continues well into the post-Islamic period. Photo: credit
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