The effort made by some interested quarters to link the Muziris excavations with the visit of St. Thomas Apostle has been criticised by eminent archaeologist and former director of the Tamil Nadu Archaeological Survey of India, Dr. R. Nagaswamy.
“When looking at the literature on the life of St. Thomas, it is not mentioned anywhere that he came to India. It is only a myth, which has now been connected with the excavations at Pattanam, near Kodungallur,” the former visiting professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University told Express.
In fact, the ancient Muziris port must have been located in Kodungallur and not in Pattanam because all major ports in ancient times were situated at river mouths. And so it is safe to assume that Muziris was at Kodungallur, where the river joins the sea.
He felt there was a hidden agenda by certain sections to propagate the idea that Muziris was connected to Pattanam, where St. Thomas is believed to have landed, and not with Kodungallur.
“Myth cannot be called history. Connecting myth with history could only create confusion and distort history,” he said. “There is no substantial evidence to say that Pattanam is connected with Muziris. How was this conclusion reached? Those who claim to have found materials to connect Pattanam with Muziris have forgotten that these materials were also found in the eastern and the western coasts of the country,” said Dr. Nagaswamy.
1. Originally published in Express Buzz, Thiruvananthapuram, 7 August 2011.