Artefacts unearthed in Pattanam point out interactions with Greco-Roman world


The stays level to an city tradition and maritime commerce that flourished in early historic interval.

Two artefacts unearthed in latest excavations in Pattanam, an 111-acre archaeological web site north of Ernakulam, seem to affirm interactions and exchanges within the early historic interval between the Indian subcontinent and the Greco-Roman world.

A seal ring manufactured from banded agate, a semi-precious stone, and engraved with a “sphinx,” a winged legendary creature that’s part-woman and part-lion in Greek legends, was discovered from one of many 5 trenches dug this season. A miniature statuette of a male head with hair resembling the Roman hairstyle was additionally discovered.

Artefacts unearthed in Pattanam indicate interactions with Greco-Roman world

“A comparative research will probably be vital to determine the nuances of the creative illustration of the sphinx,” mentioned P. J. Cherian, who directed the excavations in Pattanam and Mathilakam.

Within the 9 seasons of excavation performed by the Kerala Council for Historic Analysis, between 2006 and 2015, a trove of fabric, together with sherds of native pottery, relics of brick constructions and a wharf, had been retrieved from the trenches at Pattanam. After a five-year hiatus, digs resumed in March this 12 months, carried out by the PAMA Institute for the Development of Transdisciplinary Archaeological Sciences, a non-profit academic belief.

The statuette is the primary human kind discovered from the location, Mr. Cherian mentioned. With the ability that the sphinx embodies, the primary Roman emperor Augustus Caesar had chosen the image as his seal ring.

In accordance with Guilia Rocco, specialist on historical Roman artwork on the College of Rome, the sphinx present in Pattanam is much like the one worn by Augustus Caesar, as Octavius, says a press be aware from the PAMA Institute. Exact relationship of the artefacts can solely be made on the premise of additional research.

Artefacts unearthed in Pattanam indicate interactions with Greco-Roman world

A lion’s share of the artefacts exhumed from the 66 trenches dug up to now, together with the ring and statuette, are from the early historic interval or the Sangam age layer on the web site — between 300 BCE and 500 CE. Some archaeological materials from the world dates additional again to the Iron Age, between 300 BCE and 1000 BCE.

The sphinx was present in shut proximity to 2 different intaglios discovered throughout earlier excavations, which may level to the existence of a lapidary workshop within the space, Mr. Cherian mentioned.

In addition to the Indian pottery sorts of black and purple ware and rouletted ware, remnants of Amphora and Terra sigillata pottery from the Mediterranean area, turquoise glazed pottery from the Arabian area and blue-on-white porcelain from the south China area had been discovered. This connects Pattanam to an space spanning three continents, from Gibraltar to south China, Mr. Cherian mentioned.

“Analysis could be essential to see if the sphinx may very well be an Indian model of these made within the main lapidary workshops in Alexandria and Rome. The staggering quantity of native pottery, non-Indian pottery, architectural stays and the metallurgical excellence level to an city tradition and maritime commerce that flourished right here,” the press be aware says.

The digs had been performed between March and June in collaboration with the Directorate of Science and Innovation, Amity College, and Christ School, Irinjalakuda of Calicut College. The multi-disciplinary workforce comprised college students and researchers drawn from totally different Indian universities.

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