Monday, 26 November 2012
Church Historian Writes to Defence Minister A.K.Antony to Revive Muziris Maritime Route

Muziris letter to  Defence Minister AK Antony

Respeced Minister for Defence,
Kindly go through the two attachments.Your Excellency,It would be great , both for India and Kerala, if a Muziris Voyage along the lines of the First century voyages from and to the Red Sea Ports of Berinice, Aden- and Socotra - which were frequent in the early centuries - could be re enacted as suggested by the KeralaHistory Association headed by the venerable Justice V R Krishna Iyer. Such a trip would get immense world media attention and will go a long way to promote Tourism in the country and to project a glorious image of India's and Kerala's culture and achievements in the early centuries BCE and ACE. The Indian Navy could play a pivotal role in such a trip as was played by the Omani Navy in the voyageof the 'Jewel of Muscat'.Entreating your good selves and the Navy to kindly take immediate and effectivesteps in the matter, and to include the necessary funds in the forth coming budget itsef for 1. a feasibility study, 2. for a Project Report, 3. for the construction of a Sail Ship at Beypore or elsewhere, and 4. for the training of a dedicated team of sailors and navigators, and 5. to form a team of researcheras for the purpose.
Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,
Prof. George Menachery, West Bazaar, Ollur, Trichur District, Kerala 6803060091 98460337130091 487 235 43980091 487 235,

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Pattanam, St' Thomas, Binnale and KCHR-
Edited by DR.C.I.Issac-Price Rs/100

This New Book was  Released by Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram at Kerala University Senate Hall on  11 nth November. The first copy was received by eminent historian Professor M.G.S.Narayanan

The religio-politics of Left historians and Church gets exposed
Stunning Facts on International Conspiracy Behind Pattanam Excavations

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

 Christian Organisations Uphold Archaeological Excavations at Pattanam as Evidence of ST' Thomas Tradition

Muziris ( Kodungallur ) and Indian Ocean Exchanges:
Trade links and maritime contacts between the sea-faring peoples like Phoenicians, Jews and Arabs and the resource-rich Indian subcontinent existed in the centuries, before Christ. Some historians, believe that it can be traced back to the days of King Solomon, on the basis of evidences in comparative philology ( Kings,9.28 & 10.11 ) ( Biblical reference to a port called ‘Ophir’ ,situated some where on the west coast of India, too is cited as evidence for the maritime relations ).
As per the extensive references from the following historical and literary sources, for at least three centuries, Muziris (Kodungallur) was a prime center, for Mediterranean, North African, West Asian and Chinese Maritime contacts and one of the four important Indian ports:
Sources of information:
  1. Strabo’s Geography 1C BC Geographical encyclopedia. (Greek historian)
  2. Periplus Maris(unknown author) 40-70AD About 40 Ports, incuding Muziris.
  3. Pliny, the Elder 1st C, AD Natural History
  4. Ptolomy’s Geographia 150 AD
  5. Muziris Papyrus 2nd C AD Trade contract between a Merchant from Muziris and a Banker / agent, Alexandria.
  6. Carition (escape of 2 lovers) 2nd C AD Comedy play/mime with Indian characters & reference from Indian Trade.
  7. Cosmos Indicoplatus Has references about Syrian Christians, ( Dealing 5 Ports; Muzris not mentioned)
  8. Puti table (TabulaPeutingeriana) 4th C AD, Among the Ports , Muziris shown with a Temple of Augustus, in the vicinity.
Indian sources:
  1. Classical Tamil sources like Sangam (2nd BC-4th AD );clear description of Muziris, is seen in the Akanaanooru, in the Sangam Literature.
  2. Epic poems-----Chilappathikaram. ,,
  3. Legends on cultural transmissions like St.Thomas& Knayi Thoma traditions.(Early Christian Era..)
  4. Very limited Archaeological evidences from Western coast.—only Iron Age burials & few Roman coin hoards. No evidence for habitation.
    1. Indian Pottery from Berenike—Shred with Tamil Brahmi Script.
    2. Arikkamedu: Roman coins -1st, 2nd & 3rd c AD.
    3. Archeological evidence from Pattanam ( Muziris )
Path breaking discoveries from Pattanam ( Muziris ) Excavations.
It is, in this back ground, that, Kerala Council for Historical Research (K C H R) undertook a challenging, ‘multi-disciplinary’ archaeological research, in 2007, at Pattanam, a small village at North Parur, an integral part of ancient Kodungallur (Muziris ) port.
The artifacts and materials unearthed from the area have shown the maritime activity there to be as old as 500 B C. ‘The artifacts recovered from the excavation site suggest that Pattanam, with a hinterland port and multicultural settlement, may have had links with the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the South China Sea rime, since the Early Historic Period of South India’, according to P.J.Cherian, Director of K C H R .
The five samples including charcoal samples from the Iron Age Layer, parts of wooden canoe, and bollards (stakes used to secure canoes ), recovered from the site. Samples subjected to Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS), radiocarbon dating. Their mean calendar dates fall around 500 B C. The wood ( of the Canoe ), was identified as Anjily ( Artocarpus hirsutus ) and Teak ( Tectona grandis.). The 14 C date range of the canoe is 1300 BC to 100 BC. Other finds include pottery,metals,objects of personal adornment, botanical samples, and a broken rim with Tamil Brahmi script( 1stcentury BC) , one expert described as ‘exiting discovery’, providing sufficient archeological evidence to the enquirers.( Iravatham Mahadevan,a specialist in Tamil epigraphy, confirmed the inscription, of 1st century BC. )

Unearthed from PATTANAM :
  1. Amphorae---Wine container ( Big storage jar, made of stony type of clay)
  2. Indian Pottery ( Non Roman 2nd grade.)
Other items
    • Eurocentric perspective – Indo-Roman perspective.
    • Nationalist historiography – Later studies & New perspectives.
    • Need for searching for West Asian evidence in Indian sites (Gogte VD,1991)
    • Pattanam site-Location is a hamlet in Vadakkekara revenue village-Area 45 hectare—Life started here 1000 BC—Iron age.---Early Medieval—Late Medieval.
According to Bishop Francis Roz, there is a place called PATTANAM, inhabited by Syrian Christians.
1) T.G.P.(Turquoise Glazed Pottery, indicating Mesopotamian links ( Parthian/Sassanian),2 Nos. )(Pattanam Excavation 2007 ) confirmed by Durban University, UK
2) Shreds of West Asian Torpedo Jars
3) Amphora Shreds (South Italy ) ( Excavation 2008):largest assemblage of Roman pottery in India, showing Roman role in Indian Ocean trade.
Other items ( Multicultural ).:
Roulette Ware –1 ;Indian Pottery—Large quantity; Semi-precious Stone/Glass Beads numbering 10,000 unearthed in 2008; Beryl Beads(2009) Pachaswarnam, local name; Cameo Blanks( Raw material from Kerala coast); Fragments of Roman Glass Terracotta lamp ( Roman ? );Ferrous Artifacts ;Early Chera copper coin (40Nos)— a clue for monetization; Gold ornament (Claiming Italian origin); Gold string; Gold bar,Bender; A huge Indian Pottery; Pottery with Post firing ( Ex.2007 ) Brahnmi script with a Cross(10mm) ;Chinese Ceramics(Broken) — showing East connection.; Maritime (VANCHI )boat -6meter length; Wharf with Canoe ( Jesus vessel-nick name);Botanical remains (including Frankincense) (Kunthirikkam) Items, such as BRW shreds, an exquisite ornament, 1.89 gm golden felling axe, show, metallurgy begun here, in the Iron Age phase itself.
These exiting discoveries, provided abundant material evidence, to what was described by the Western authors and Tamil Sangam poets about the flourishing trade between Muziris port in the Malabar coast and Rome ( via the Red Sea ports ),centuries before the beginning of Christian era.
The huge quantity of artifacts unearthed and the radio-carbon analysis, they are subjected to, put the antiquity of Pattanam, to first millennium B C. It provided valuable collateral archeological proof to Malabar mission of St. Thomas.
Pattanam ( Muziris ) Findings : Vindication to St. Thomas Tradition
The ancient Syrian Christian community, inhabited, mostly in the Malabar coast (Kerala State ) of Indian Subcontinent, inherited a concrete, constant and consistent tradition , for over 2000 years . As per this tradition, they became Christians, by the evangelization work of no less a person than, St. Thomas, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus, in the year AD, 52, at Kodungallur ( Muziris ) port. Apart from oral tradition, there are some ancient folklores, ‘ cultural remnants with Christian Symbolisms and some structures in the specific spots, where seven communities ( churches, Pallikal, in local language ) believed to have been established by the Apostle, and his traditional tomb at Mylapore, no direct, contemporary evidence from Kerala, available, to substantiate this belief. Though there are clear literary references can be seen, in various ancient languages, they are not contemporary as per the norms of the secular historians.
It is in this back ground that Kerala Council for Historical Research, a State Government body of secular historians, in collaboration with Archaeological Survey of India ( A S I ), conducted an Archeological Excavation using all modern techniques at Kadungallur ( Muziris / Pattanam ) , the Port of St.Thomas. The excavation results, proved beyond doubts that there were hectic trade between this port and Mediterranean ( and other ) countries , right from 500 B C.--- providing authority to St. Thomas tradition.
How this vindicates the tradition of St.Thomas Christians?
According to eminent historian and J N U Professor, Dr.Pius Malekandathil, two important happenings, in the recent past, in the field of history, viz. the Discovery of Vienna Papyrus ( 1985 ) and Archaeological excavation at PATTANAM / MUZIRIS, revolutionized the historical research and disproved the antic-arguments against the St.Thomas Tradition, branding it as a myth. Also, a blow to the prejudicial and dogmatic approach of some historians of eminence, from Kerala. In his own words:
Recent researches ( by implication, Pattanam excavation ), have high lighted the historical probability of the arrival of St.Thomas, in India, particularly against the background of intensified maritime trade happening between coastal Western India and Red Sea ports on the one hand and coastal Western India as well as the ports of Persian Gulf on the other. The physical presence of about 6 million St.Thomas Christians, claiming their origin to one or another place of the 7 initial Christian settlements, set up by St.Thomas , as per their tradition, often serves as ethno-historical evidence, adding significantly to the historical claim of their oral tradition. From 3rd century onwards, the written sources from West Asia and the Mediterranean world started mentioning about the Christians of India and the Apostle, who had preached among Indians….
At a time when 120 vessels were playing between coastal Western India and ports of Roman Egypt every year, there is no reason whatsoever, to doubt about the veracity of their accounts. ( From his Seminar paper ‘ A commonwealth of Christians in Indian Ocean’. )
Referring to the next, discovery ‘Vienna Papyrus’, ( an voluminous trade agreement entered between a seller in Muziris and the buyer in Alexandria, for regular supply of merchandise ), Dr. Pius says, this together with Muziris findings, provided historical status to the coming of Pantaenus to India, as reported by Eusebius and Jerome. Also, without any ambiguity we can conclude that the part of the world, he visited , is our India., the scholarly conclusion reached by eminent historian William Logan, 100 years back.( See the detailed discussion of the topic, in Article No. 3 ) These archaeological and epigraphic evidences give sanctity and historical status to the descriptions of Eusebius and Jerome not only about the visit of Pantanus but also to the Apostolate of St.Thomas and the first converts of the Apostle.

 Syro Malabar Church  Liturgical Research Centre 39 nth SeminarReport highlights P.J.Cherian's Paper Supporting StThomas Christian Tradition Using Archaeological Evidence From Pattanam


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Khor Rori : P.J.Cherian and KCHR abuse archaeology for religio-politics.

Reverend Charles Forster sustains the traditional argument that the land of Dhofar was the port of Khor Rori being the Biblical land of Sephar where the legendary individual Ophir settled.Historian Ali al Shahri gave a talk at Brigham Young University arguing that Khor Rori is the Biblical port of Ophir.

It is clear why P.J.Cherian presented a potsherd with Tamil Brahmi script  discovered from Khor-Rori.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

 Khor Rori is part of the ancient Biblical region of Ophir.The recent find of a potsherd with Tamil-Brahmi script  from the region brings out the interest of P.J.Cherian. 


P.J.Cheriyan presented a  paper at Syro-Malabar Church Conference on July 2011 at Mumbai- The Impact of Recent Archaeological Discoveries in the Ancient Muziris on the Historiography of the Establishment of Christianity in Kerala.This was only one among many papers he presented at various church denominations. Interested visitors can go through hundreds of posts in this blog

The 39th Seminar of the Litrugical Research Centre (LRC)  of Syro-Malabar Church was held in Kalyan, Mumbai from July 29-31, 2011 at the Hope Centre, Amboli, Andheri West. The Theme of the seminar was ‘Early Christian Communities of St. Thomas Tradition inIndia”Dr. PJ Cherian, Director, Pattanam Excavations presented  a paper on -The Impact of Recent Archeological Discoveries in the ancient Muziris on the Historiography of the Establishment of Christianity in Kerala-highlighting the importance of Pattanam as the landing spot of St’Thomas in Kerala
Khor Rori: Serious Questions

A single potsherd with Tamil-Brahmi script is of importance and should have been placed on 6-7nth July exhibition at National Museum of San Matleo in Pisa. The potsherd is from the Biblical region of  Ophir. Curated by Alessandra   Avanzini along with Sultanate of Oman Cultural Centre there was no mention of such a the exhibition.How did it reach P.J.Cherian who is  a modern historian and has been vehemently criticized by leading archaeologists in India  for dubious games using politics communalism and archaeology?