International Fellowships in Pattanam Archaeological Research

The Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR), is offering Senior and Junior International Research Fellowships in Material Culture Studies in the Pattanam Archaeology Research.

Named after eminent archaeology researchers across the world, these reciprocal fellowships are dedicated to the advanced study of Pattanam excavation finds. The research opportunity is offered to pre-doctoral students, doctoral, post-doctoral and senior investigators to conduct crossdisciplinary research in collaboration with the Pattanam team to generate new knowledge and help preserve human heritage for future generations.

The eight seasons of excavations by the KCHR at Pattanam, India (N. Lat. 10º 09.434’ ; E. Long. 76º 12.587’) have unearthed a large volume and array of Indian and non-Indian artifacts belonging to different cultures and cultural periods. The chronology of the Pattanam site spans three millennia from circa 1000 BCE with evidence of habitation across Iron Age, Early Historic, Medieval and Modern cultural periods. The Early Historic Period (3rd century BCE to 5th century CE) appears to be the most active phase of the site. 

Pattanam appears to be an integral part of the long ‘lost’ legendary port of Muziris/ Muciri Pattinam; copiously mentioned in various Indian and European classical sources. As the hub of the trans-oceanic spice network, Muziris seems to have integrated the peninsular Indian region (Tamizhakam) with the larger urbanisation process across the Indian Ocean littoral.

The KCHR expects the research fellows to engage with, analyse and interpret the material data from the Pattanam excavations and extract information and knowledge out of them. Advanced archaeo-science methods and techniques as well as comparative studies of contemporary port-sites across the Indian Ocean, Red Sea and Mediterranean rims are imperative requirements.


Eligibility:The qualifications are similar to the UGC SRF (Senior Research Fellowship) and JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) applicants. There will be no age limit.

Proposal: Applicants must prepare detailed research proposals in one or more aspects of the Pattanam archaeological data taking cue from the research areas suggested below. The proposal should contain the review of previous studies if any in the chosen research area, objectives, methodology, expected outcome, time schedule and any other relevant or specific aspect of the research question.

Fellowship duration: SRF duration can be from one month to one year depending on the research question. JRF duration can be from three months to three years. The Fellowships are full time engagements but the duration of stay at Pattanam /KCHR can be proposal specific.

Fellowship grant and contingency: The fellowship grant for SRF and JRF will be Rs. 18,000 and Rs. 16,000 per month respectively (UGC rates). The contingency grant will be Rs. 25,000 per annum for both categories.

Travel grant: The selected Indian candidates will be paid 2-tier AC train fare - to join and return after the completion of the project. For the same purpose, the foreign researchers will be paid the economy apex return air fare or travel grant limited to a maximum of 1000 US dollars.

Last date: No cut-off date for the receipt of applications.

Selection: The fundamental criterion for selection rests on the merit of the proposal. The academic qualification, references, achievements, collaborative and trans-disciplinary approaches and the applicant’s capability to carry out the research as envisaged in the proposal will also be definitely considered. The fellowship awards are subject to the KCHR terms and conditions.


The KCHR would provide data relevant to the research proposal. The KCHR research team, which includes the Director, academic staff and research assistants as well as the collaborating experts from various universities and institutes, would provide academic consultation. The facilities of the KCHR at the Pattanam site can be availed for short duration during the preparation of the proposal. The applicants may contact the KCHR Research Officer for any specific help and also regarding the flexibility in application deadline:

Areas of Research

• Pottery: Local Pottery, Indian Rouletted Ware, Mediterranean Pottery (Amphora and Terra Sigillata), West Asian/Mesopotamian/South Arabian (Turquoise Glazed Pottery, Torpedo and Ovoid Jars), Unidentified Pottery Assemblage (Pattanam Ware etc) and Chinese Ceramics

• Gem stone assemblage: Beads, gems, intaglio, cameo blanks, lapidary debitage

• Glass and other fabricated materials: Beads, gaming counters and glass fragments

• Metal objects made of Iron, Copper, Lead & Gold: Coins, nails, tools, antimony rods, jewellery etc

• Geological finds: Rocks, minerals, clay and sand

• Archaeo-botanical remains: Spices, rice, other plant remains, peat, frankincense etc

• Archaeo-zoological remains: Human and animal bones

• Architectural remains: Burned bricks, tiles, ring-wells, toilet features

• Terracotta objects: Spindle whorl, storage jars, discs, balls, lamps, lids, etc

• Workshop contexts: Lapidary remains, crucibles, furnace/kiln, pottery/ brick/tile production

• Wharf context: Canoe, bollards etc

• Comparative study: Pattanam and contemporary sites

• Stratigraphic analysis and cultural periods of Pattanam

• Paleo-landscape of Pattanam

• Digital Database

• Image processing

• Web design

• Video documentary

• Conservation of Pattanam site and artifacts

Click here for the Brochure