Pattanam (Malayalam: പട്ടണം), presently a landlocked rural hamlet located in the Periyar Delta, 2 km north of North Paravur, 9 km south of Kodungallur and 25 km north of Kochi in Ernakulam District in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Pattanam, a name which means "coastal town", has ancient origins. It is said to have been first occupied around 1000 BCE and continued to be active till the 10th century CE. 4 m thick soil of this village conceals the ancient maritime history of the World. The recent archaeological excavations undertaken by the Kerala Council for Historical Research [KCHR] at Pattanam suggests that the legendary seaport Muziri Pattanam, better known as Muziris, could have been located at this small village.
The site for archaeological research at Pattanam covers about 45 hectares. Due to habitation activities it is a “disturbed” site; some parts are partially destroyed due to sand quarrying. The site seems to have been first occupied by indigenous population around 1000 BC and continued to be active till the 10th century AD. The AMS 14C analysis of the charcoal and wood samples from the Iron Age layer and wharf contexts have determined their antiquity as first millennium BC.
The multi-disciplinary and multi-seasonal archaeological research at Pattanam from 2007 undertaken by the Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) is a pioneering initiative in the history of Kerala Archaeology. British Academy (BASAS) recently accorded recognition for the formation of an international research group based on Pattanam.
Square copper coins (on one side an elephant and on the other bows and arrows) had been found at the site. These types of coins were issued in the beginning of Christian era. At the same time there is lack of evidence to show that the artifacts unearthed at Pattanam came specifically from Rome. It is necessary to get information that these are connected directly to Italy.
Excavated antiquities include Chera coins, Amphora, Terra Sigillatta, Cameo Blanks made of semi-precious stones and stone and glass beads in large quantity. Remains of brick structures made of burned bricks were also found there. A wharf context with a six m dugout canoe made of anjili wood and bollards made of teak wood and a large quantity of botanical remains were found.