ASI puts an end to the PAMA of the Pattanam (Muziris) excavations

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) terminated the services of the PAMA Institute for the Advancement of Transdisciplinary Archaeological Sciences – a non-profit research organization that was engaged in excavations in the villages of Pattanam and Mathilakam in the districts of Ernakulam and Thrissur.

It was reported earlier this year that ASI would be a major partner in the 11th excavation season which has resumed in both localities. The Pattanam excavations, launched in 2006-07, resumed in January 2020 after a five-year hiatus.

Responding to the termination of PAMA’s services, its director PJ Cherian said the reasons mentioned in the letter for the withdrawal of the excavation permit have no factual basis. “We have only used the name and association ASI in a purely academic sense. Regarding the course fees, there is a factual error. PAMA does not collect any fees at all. We are collecting an intended registration fee. to cover the costs of accommodation, food and logistics. “

In fact, to date, PAMA has not received or accepted any external funding. The self-generated funds come from the members of the trust, composed mainly of retired teachers and researchers. Finally, PAMA being a registered non-profit educational trust, is committed to transparent, non-profit financial transactions and accounting practices that are always open to public audit, he added.

He claimed that the excavations which began on September 1 and that the first trench was dug to a depth of 65 cm provided fascinating evidence of the Mediterranean, Red Sea and Indian Ocean regions with an antiquity of more than 2000 years. Two dozen researchers from different parts of India who have braved the Covid are mentally and physically broken by the ASI directive. The excavations can be completed by September 30, 2021, as originally planned, he said.

ASI officials at its offices in Kochi, Thrissur and New Delhi were not available for comment.

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