Periyar River Valley Surface Survey Project (PRVSSP)
for Historical, Archaeological and Anthropological Evidence


The Pattanam archaeological research with the limited excavations conducted since 2007 has generated evidence about the proliferation of an urban settlement in the Periyar delta region circa 2000 years ago. The evidence indicate that the settlers had built fine structures with burnt bricks, roof tiles, iron nails and a proto-concrete mixture resembling the pre-modern surki. The orientation of structures, toilet features, terracotta wells etc excavated are indicative of a planned and organised way of life. Material evidence point out that the people could have been cotton weavers, highly gifted semi-precious stone artisans etc. Besides knowledge in iron technology, they seem to have had developed metallurgical skills to work on gold, copper and lead.



The pottery fragments recovered amount to 45 lakh, of which 1.40 lakh belong to Mediterranean, West Asian, Red Sea, South Arabian, Mesopotamian and South China Sea regions. This points to the trade contacts of the Indian subcontinent with Europe, Africa and various parts of Asia. The classical Tamil sources namely the "Sangam literary corpus" and the Greek/Latin sources corroborate with the Pattanam archaeological evidence.


In this background, the PRVSS project aims to document the surviving evidence in the Periyar river valley region in order to explore the extent of the urban-culture unearthed at Pattanam. PAMA aims for scientific documentation of the various evidences and their systematic study. PAMA also hopes to encourage and support the local Panchayaths, local libraries and cultural organizations and individuals to undertake conservation and illumination of the artefacts in their own museums.


For full details of the project, joining the research team etc; Colleges, Local Self Governments, Cultural organizations, local history enthusiasts, researchers and students can contact the Principal Investigator of the project by writing to PAMA.