Signs of ancient port in Kerala

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A village in Kerala’s Periyar delta may be the site of a port that has remained untraced for centuries although ancient Indian and Greek texts had described it as an Indian Ocean trade hub, researchers have said.

Archaeological excavations at Pattanam, about 25km north of Kochi, have yielded an abundance of artefacts — a 2,000-year-old brick-layered wharf, a wooden canoe and hundreds of fragments of Roman and West Asian pottery, including wine jars.

The findings of three years of excavations suggest that the Pattanam site may have been part of Muziris, a port city mentioned in an ancient Tamil text, Akanunuru, as well as in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a navigational guide from ancient Greece describing ports along the Red Sea and in India. Historians have dated both texts to the first century AD.

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