Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 14: Pattanam Roman pottery sherds on the western coast of India near Kodungallur have a close resemblance to Arikamedu sherds from the Coromandel coast near Puducherry, Dr Roberta Tomber of Department of Conservation and Scientific Research, British Musesum, London, said.
Talking on ''Indo-Roman Trade: Pattanam, Pots and Pepper'' at the Kerala Council of Historical Research (KCHR) History Colloquium here on Monday, Oct 13 she said the major type of Pattanam as well as Arikamedu belonged to Dressel 2-4 variety of wine amphoras of the late 1st century BC to AD 1.
Since Pattanam was located strategically in the heart of the pepper growing area, it was ideally placed for the export of black pepper to the West, she said.
Pepper found from Egyptian Red Sea sites illustrate the huge quantities of pepper that travelled in the Roman period. Pattanam provided a window to trade relations between the Mediterranean and the Malabar coast, she added.
The amphora sherds form the most robust markers of the return journey of Roman traders to India.
Dr Roberta was at KCHR as a collaborating scientist of the Muziris Heritage Project.