Saint Thomas fraud continues
November 20, 2011 2 Comments
Accession Date and Time-27-10-2011;2.55PM
Syrian Malabar Nasrani
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Varghese Palakkappillil · K.M Mani · Asin
Joseph Augusty · Nayantara · A. K. Antony
Kunchako Boban · Sheela · Anna Chandy
|Kerala: 6,000,000 (18% of Pop.)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Roman Catholicism, Oriental Orthodoxy,Reformed Orthodox, Protestantism(minority)|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Cochin Jews, Paradesi Jews, Knanaya,Malayalis|
The Syrian Malabar Nasrani people, also known as Saint Thomas Christians andNasranis are an ethnoreligious group from Kerala, India, adhering to the various churches of the Saint Thomas Christian tradition.They are also known as Syrian-Malabar Christians,Suriyani Christiaanikal, Mar Thoma Nasrani, or more popularly as Syrian Christians in view that they use Syriac liturgy since the early days of Christianity in India.
The Syrian Malabar Nasranis are the descendants of the natives and those of the Jewishdiaspora in Kerala  who became Christians in the Malabar Coast in the earliest days of Christianity. The community also comprises several ancient Christian settlements in Kerala. It has been suggested that the term Nasraniderives from the name Nazarenes used by ancient Jewish Christians in the Near-East who believed in the divinity of Jesus but clung to many of the Mosaic ceremonies. They follow a unique Hebrew–Syriac Christian tradition which includes several Jewish elements although they have absorbed some Hinducustoms. Their heritage is Syriac–Keralite, their culture South Indian with semitic and local influences, their faith St. Thomas Christian, and their languageMalayalam. Much of their Jewish tradition has been forgotten, especially after the Portuguese invasion of Kerala in the early 1500s.
- Roman Catholic Syrian Christians.
- Jacobite Syrian Christians.
- The non-Syrian Roman Catholics Known as Inland Christians by the Van Rheede and New Christians by Moens..They were grouped into seven parish churches under the bishop of Cochin.
- Topass Christians. (Thuppai). They were the descendents of Indian mothers or fathers belonging to the diverse European nations.
Syrian Malabar Nasranis are also called Nasrani Mapillas. According to Hermann Gundert (who wrote the first Malayalam dictionary), the term ‘mapilla’ was a title used to denote semitic immigrants from West Asia. Thus the term Mapilla was used to denote both Arab and Christian-Jewish descendants and followers in Kerala. The descendants of Arabs are called Muslim Mappila the descendants of Syrian–Jewish Christians are called Nasrani Mappilas. and the descendants of the Cochin Jews who have traditionally followed Halakhic Judaism are known as Juda Mappila
On the south western side of the Indian peninsula; between the mountains and the Erythraean Sea (now Arabian Sea); stretching from Kannoor to Kanyakumari was the land called Cherarajyam, which was ruled by local chieftains. Later this land came to be known as Malabar and (now) Kerala. Muziris (now known as Pattanam near Cochin) was the important entry port. After the discovery of Hippalus, every year 100 ships arrived there from various parts of the then known world, including Red Sea ports .
While Augustus Caesar (31 BC- 14 AD) was the Emperor of Rome and Herod the Great(37-4 BC) was King of Judea, ambassadors from Malabar visited the Emperor Augustus. Nasranis believe that these ambassadors were The Wise Men From the East, of the Bible. Thus the Malabar Nasranis are some of the earliest people who joinedChristianity in India.
In the first century map Tabula Peutingeriana (see the map) a temple of Augustus is clearly visible near Muziris shows the close relation between Rome and Malabar in the first century BC.
Thus the community consists of people from many ethnic groups of Kerala including the pre-Christian era, different trading diaspora of Jews 
Suspecting a hidden agenda in the archaeological exploration at Pattanam by the KCHR, agroup of historians , writers and cultural activists has urged the Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy to ask the Archaeological Survey of India to take over the digs. A memorandum signed by Dr. M.G.Sasibhushan, Prof. N.M.Namboodiri, P.K.Gopi and 18 others also wanted the current KCHR reconstituted and the Muziris Heritage Project renamed as Kodungallur Heritage Project and it be entrusted to qualified and committed scholars.
Accession Date and Time-26-10-2011; 2.20PM
Accession Date and Time 26-10-2011; 2.00PM
Express News Service-October 22-2011
KOCHI: Expressing concern over the portrayal of the Vivek Vilasini’s picture that depicts a Kathakali artist as a muscle man in a loin cloth, in the brochure of Kochi-Muzirius Biennial,those associated with the Ernakulam Kathakali club said that the picture wounded the sentiments of Kathakali artists. They demanded the withdrawal of the brochure.
K Sukumaran, secretary, Kathakali club said that the picture was displayed in an unethical manner. “It will certainly sent a wrong signal about our noble culture,” he said. He was of the opinion that such a picture should not have been included in the brochure.
‘Express’ had reported about the vulgar portrayal of Kathakali in Kochi-Muziris Biennial brochure on Thursday.
Accession Date and Time 26-10-2011; 1.55PM
Vulgar Portrayal Of Kathkali Kicks Up Row
Express News Service -October 20-2011
KOCHI: The Kochi-Muziris Biennale brochure has kick started a controversy among the Kerala art world, with Kathakali artists and art lovers coming up against the vulgar portrayal of the traditional art form in it.
Accession Date and Time -26-10-2011; 1.40PM
The Mar Thoma Church at a Glance
The Mar Thoma Church is a Christian denomination from Kerala, the south-western state of India. The Mar Thoma Church descends from the original Malankara Church that was established by Thomas the Apostle, who came to India in AD 52, around the same time Saint Paul (68 AD) established the church in Corinth.
The official name of the Church is Malankara Mar Thoma Suriyani Sabhaor in English Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church. Short form is “Marthoma Sabha” or Mar Thoma Church. Malankara is cognate of the name Maliankara, a place near Muziris, where Thomas the Apostle first landed in Kerala. “Mar Thoma” or “Marthoma” is Aramaic, and means Saint Thomas. The original liturgical language used by Malankara Church was Aramiac and Hebrew. The Bible that was in use was in Hebrew. Later when Syriac replaced Aramiac in eastern countries, Malankara Church also started using Syriac. Members of the church are often referred to as Marthomites.
The Mar Thoma Church defines itself as “Apostolic in origin, Universal in nature, Biblical in faith, Evangelical in principle, Ecumenical in outlook, Oriental in worship, Democratic in function, and Episcopal in character.
The Church currently has over one million members around the world. The membership of the Church is centred in the southern Indian state of Kerala but it has spread with the 20th-century Indian diaspora to North America, Europe, the Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, in addition to a sizeable population in the rest of India. It is independent and indigenous. Its regular work as well as special projects are entirely financed by contributions from its members at home and abroad.
On the south western side of the Indian peninusula; between the mountains and the Erythraean Sea (now Arabian Sea); stretching from Kannoor to Kanyakumari was the land called Cherarajyam, which was ruled by local chieftens. Later this land came to be known as Malabar (now Kerala). It was to this country Kerala, Thomas the Apostle, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ arrived in the first century (believed to be in 52 AD). He landed at Muziris (now known as Pattanam near Cochin on the Malabar Coast).Even before the time of Christ, during the time of Moses and King Solomon, there was trade in spices and luxury articles between Malabar Coast and Palestine. Excavations carried out at Pattanam in 2008 have given more evidences to the maritime trade between Kerala and the Mediterranean ports. During the second exile (586 BC) some of the Jews came and settled in Kerala. They were known as Bene Israel. During St. Thomas’ stay some among the Jews and the local wise men became followers of Jesus of Nazareth. They were called Nazranis, meaning “followers of Jesus of Nazareth” or Malankara Christians. After leaving Malankara, St. Thomas proceeded to the East coast of India and died a martyrs’ death (72 AD) at a place called Mylapore in Tamil Nadu.
Synod of Diamper
St. Thomas Christians (Malankara Christians) remained in communion with the Orthodox Church of the East until their encounter with the Portuguese Catholics in 1498. The Portuguese started settling in India with the arrival of Vasco Da Gama on Sunday, May 20, 1498. From that time the Portuguese were powerful in the western parts of India and had control over the sea routes. The Malankara Church had hardly any contact with the Christians of Europe. Many of them did not even know that there was a Pope in Rome. But the Portuguese used their power to bring the Malankara Church under the supremacy of Rome. A powerful Archbishop Aleixo de Menezes arrived in Goa in 1595. He then convened a Synod at Udayamperoor, south of Ernakulam, from 20–26 June, 1599. This is known as the Synod of Diamper. Here the Archbishop demanded obedience to the supreme Bishop of Rome. The representatives sent from various parishes in and around Cochin were forced to accept the decrees read out by the Archbishop. The Portuguese Padroadowas extended over them. Thus those parishes of the Malankara Church were made part of the Catholic Church under Pope of Rome. But the remaining churches continued their original Apostolic beliefs and practices. The language of liturgy of the Roman Church was Latin and that of Nazranis was Syrian (Aramiac). To distinguish these two groups, later the Roman Catholics called themselves Latin Christians and the other Malankara Nazranis were referred asSyrian Christians.
Coonan Cross Oath (Crooked Cross Oath)
The Portuguese refused to accept the legitimate authority of the Indian hierarchy and its relation with the Orthodox East Syrians. For almost half a centure after the Synod of Daimper these Christians were under the Latin Bishops who were appointed either by the Portuguese Padroado or by the Roman Congregation of Propaganda Fide. Every attempt to resist the latinization process was branded by them heretical. Under an indigenous archdeacon, the Thomas Christians resisted, but the result was disastrous.
On Friday, January 24, 1653 (M.E. 828 Makaram 3), under the leadership of Malanakra Mooppen Thomas, Nazranis around Cochin gathered at Mattancherry church and made an oath that is known as Oath at the Crooked Cross. About 20,0000 people marched holding a rope tied to a Cross vowing that neither they or their descendants to come would have anything to do with the Roman Catholic Church or the Pope; and that they would stop obeying the missionaries.
After The Great Swearing at the Crooked Cross, the parish elders (Idavaka Mooppens) of the Church met together and elected Kuravilangad Parampil Thomas Kathanar as Malankara Elder (Malankara Mooppen). Following the ancient custom, twelve Idavaka Mooppens laid their hands on him and appointed him as Malankara Mooppen. However, the Portugese refused to accept his legitimate authority without an ordination by a bishop as was the practice in Portugese (Catholic) churches. Under impending annexation of their Church, the Marthoma Nazranis sent letters to various other eastern Churches asking to send a bishop. Mar Gregorios the Patriarch of Jerusalem, was the first to respond and arrived in India to regularise the ordination. Thus began the relation between the Malankara Church and the Antiochian Jacobite church.
In 1653, Malankara Mooppen Thomas, was consecrated with the title Mar Thoma (Mar Thoma I) by Mar Gregorios. The throne used for this consecration in 1653 is still in the possession of the Mar Thoma Church and kept in the Poolatheen, the residence of the Malankara Marthoma Metropolitan at Tiruvalla, Kerala, India. It has been used in the installation of every Mar Thoma Metropolitan, to this day, so that the continuity of the throne of Mar Thoma is ensured.
MarThoma Church Today!
Our headquarters is located in the city of Thiruvalla in Kerala State, India. Our spiritual father is The Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma, Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church. Our Diocesan Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Dr. GeeVarghese Mar Theodosuis, provides spiritual and administrative oversight from the Sinai Mar Thoma Center in Merrick, NY, U.S.A. The church is a reformed Oriental Orthodox Church and has members throughout the world. Our reformed liturgies are based on the liturgies of the Antiochene Patriarchate that have been translated into Malayalam, English, and other regional languages of India.
Our church is very proud of our ecumenical relations. We are one of the founding members of the World Council of Churches as well as the National Council of Churches in India. We are full-fledged members of the Canadian Council of Churches and other regional ecumenical bodies. Moreover, we are in full communion with the Anglican See of Canterbury and all her regional identities – including the Anglican Church of Canada, the Churches of South India and North India, and the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht.
Accession Date and Time-19-10-2011; 5.05PM
The Syrian Malabar Nasrani people, also known as Saint Thomas Christians and Nasranis are anethnoreligious group from Kerala, India, adhering to the various churches of the Saint Thomas Christian tradition.During the time of Moses and King Solomon, the Malabar coast traded spices and luxury articles with Israel. â€˜â€™Bibleâ€™â€™; I Kings. 9:26-28; 10:11,22; 2 Chronicles: 8:18; 9:21. Excavations carried out at Pattanam in 2008 provided evidence that the maritime trade between Kerala and the Mediterranean ports existed back in 500 BC or earlier KeralaCouncil for Historical Research findings in 2006-08.. It is possible that some of those traders who arrived from the west, including Jews, remained in Kerala. Edna Fernadez. The last Jews of Kerala.- The two thousand year history of Indiaâ€™s forgotten Jewish community. Skyhorse Publishing. c.2008. p. 80
Accession date and Time19-10-2011; 3.45PMWikipedia Brings out Perspective of Dr. R.Nagaswamy, former director of Tamil Nadu state Archaeology that there is hidden agenda behind Pattanam excavations to identify it with landing spot of St’ Thomas
George Menachery, Secretary of Church History Association of India (CHAI) Highlights Pattanam Early in 2004
Accession Date and Time 18-10-2011;4.15PMGRANITE OBJECTS IN KERALA CHURCHES: An Investigation into their Distribution, Antiquity, and Significance.
Paper presented by Prof. George MENACHERY, LIRC, Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad, October 19-21, 2004.
Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church
Clergy – ministers
First century BC
Arrival of Saint Thomas
In Track With Pattanam Excavations The Book Published by Syro-Malabar Church has Articles by Left Historians In Pattanam Excavavation Panel of Muziris Heritage Project
Accession Date and Time-15-10-2011; 12.15PMINTRODUCTION
The present volume is the result of a modest venture of the Liturgical Research Centre of the Syro-Malabar Church to study the history of St. Thomas Christians, especially against the background of the early history of the Nambudiri Brahmins and Jews in Kerala (Malabar) and the famous literary work, the Sangam Literature. The study is a sincere attempt to search the roots of this unique Christian community in order to better understand it’s identity and to situate it with more relevance in the present day world.
The book contains the research papers, responses and observations presented in the three seminars on historical questions conducted by the Liturgical Research Centre and published in a very orderly manner which makes it one of the ideal books on many different subjects concerning Thomasine Christian history during various periods and that which can be easily understood by a lay person. Though there are many different topics by various renowned authors and experts, the main thrust of the book is to unravel the early history of the St. Thomas Christian community, by juxtaposing them all, which gives a clearer picture of the community’s early history.
The contents of the volume are interesting, thought-provoking and even challenging, with an unbiased approach towards history alongwith many reliable references provided, as one sees in the volume, hence, the reliability of the work is also assured.
St. Thomas Christians: A Historical Analysis of their Origin and Development up to 9th Century AD – Pius Malekandathil.
St. Thomas Christians: A Historical Analysis of their Origin and Development up to 9th Century AD – Dr. Pius Malekandathil : A Response – A. Mathias Mundadan CMI.
St. Thomas Christians in Malabar from the 9th to the 16th Centuries – K. S. Mathew.
Response to Dr. K. S. Mathew’s Paper : St. Thomas Christians in Malabar from the 9th to the 16th Centuries – Joseph Kolengadan (Nityasatyananda).
Nambudiris : Migrations and Early Settlements in Kerala – M. G. S. Narayanan.
History/Story : No Last Words : A Response – Scaria Zacharia
St. Thomas Christians and Nambudiri Brahmins : A Note – Rajan Gurukkal
The Nambudiri Community : A History – Kesavan Veluthat
The Jews in Kerala – P. M. Jussay
The Jews in Kerala : A Response – Samuel H. Hallegua
The Jews in Kerala : A Response – A. Mathias Mundadan CMI
Sangam Literature and its Relevance – SIRPI Balasubramaniam
Sangam Literature and Christian Elements – R. Balachandran
Sangam Literature and Christianity : A Response – P. K. George SJ
Early Tamil Oral, Literary and Architectural Traditions and St. Thomas Christians – K. Sadasivan
• St. Thomas Christians and Nambudiris in Kerala – Cherian Varicatt & James Puliurumpil
• Brahmins, Jews and Thomas Christians – Francis Kanichikattil CMI
• Tradition : Myth or Truth ? – John Kudiyiruppil MST
• Christianity is truly indigenous – John Palakunnel
• Validity of St. Thomas Tradition – K. A. Antony
• Historicity of St. Thomas Tradition – Sebastian Thayil
The contributors are some of the most renowned experts in history and literature and their professional profile is enlisted below as provided in the volume.
Pius MALEKANDATHIL is the reader in the Department of History of Goa University.
A. Mathias MUNDADAN CMI is professor emeritus of Church History of Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore.
K. S. MATHEW is former Head of the Department of History of Pondicherry University.
Joseph KOLENGADAN (Nityasatyananda) is former professor of English at St. Thomas College, Thrissur and the Head of the Department of English at St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirapalli.
M. G. S. NARAYANAN is former Head of the Department of History at Calicut University and present Chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), New Delhi.
Scaria ZACHARIA is professor in the Department of Malayalam / School of Cultural Studies of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady.
Rajan GURUKKAL is the head of the School of Social Sciences of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam.
Kesavan VELUTHAT is reader in the Department of History of Mangalore University.
P. M. JUSSAY is former professor of St. Joseph’s college Tiruchirapalli and Annamalai University, Head of the Department of Humanities of the Regional Engineering College, Calicut and former Editor of ‘Kerala Times’, Ernakulam.
Samuel H. HALLEGUA is the most prominent member of the Jewish community of Mattancherry, Kochi.
SIRPI BALASUBRAMANIAM is former Head of the Department of Tamil of Bharathiar University, Coimbatore.
R. BALACHANDRAN is professor in the Department of English of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli.
P. K. GEORGE SJ holds Doctorate in Tamil for comparative study of Latin and Sangam Literature and was for sometime lecturer of Tamil in St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai.
K. SADASIVAN is Head of the Department of History of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli.
George Menacherry Secretary of Church History Association of India (CHAI) Confirms Pattanam as Muziris on Evidence Given By P.J.Cherian
Accession date and time 14-10-2011; 12.10 PM
Glimpses of Nazraney Heritage’ by Prof George MenacheryAuthored by NSC- Admin on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 20:48 – 27 Comments
Notes about the Author
Prof. George Menachery is a freelance Indian Journalist and Editor of the St. Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India and the Indian Church History Classics. Glimpses of Nazraney Heritage
This is a book on essays on Nazraney culture and heritage. Many of the Menachery’s articles which are quite very famous are part of this book. This well written essays covers the 2000 years old history, tradition and heritage makes an excellent reading. It is highly relevant in today’s nuclear family set up of Syrian Christians where many kids are not fortunate to learn about the tradition from Grand parents.
Accession date and time 14-10-2011; 11.45 AMProf. George Menachery Secretary of Church History Association of India (CHAI)Applauds Pattanam Excavators
Glad to see that the digs made by Dr. Shajan and Selvakumar (CHS) at Pattanam or Pathanam or Pazhnam shedding evidence though tentatively on the ancient Muziris is being widely noticed by scholars all over the world. Here one might say that even in the 16th – 17th centuries Pattanam was considered to be the ancient Muziris. This is mentioned in George Menachery, Kodungallur City of St. Thomas, 1987, and in its reprint , 2000. For exhaustive details concerning the views of ancients and moderns – both Indians and non-Indians, including Greeks, Romans,….Sangham poets, modern historians… see Chapters I and II of the book mentioned. Earlier many had asked for excavations in and around Cranganore, Mahodayapuram, Kodungallur, Mahadevarpattanam, Thiruvanchikkulam, Cheraman Paraambu etc. Anujan Achan had many decades back made some enlightened guesses and insisted on excavations. But the governments and the universities and archaeology depts. were reluctant to go forward with scientific excavations for one reason or other. We are all glad that Shajan, Selvakumar, and Gopi & co have made a beginning – and what a beginning. Congratulations!
For those who want to learn more about the history of Muziris, Muchiri, Kodungallur, Paravur, and Pattanam given below are two website pages:
Why P.J.Cherian Chose Dr. Derek Kennet for Pattanam Excavations?–Derek Kennet and Biblical Archaeology
Accession Date and Time -13-10-2011; 3.05 PM
Biblical marshland breathes new life
UNITED NATIONS // Despite links to the Bible, the Epic of Gilgamesh and Sir Wilfred Thesiger, the British explorer, years of damage and neglect reduced the once-verdant marshlands of southern Iraq to a crusty wasteland. A combination of Saddam Hussein’s punitive policies and dams upstream of the Tigris and Euphrates delta pushed the swampy home of the famed Marsh Arabs into rapid decline.
But this month, UN environment chiefs said conservation work was proving successful and announced plans to gain the rejuvenated wetlands an inscription on the famed World Heritage List of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco). Derek Kennet, an archaeologist from Durham University, said academics were attracted to the swamplands’ unusual ecosystems and societies as well as their associations with folklore, myth and literature.
“It’s an important area, but also a problematic area because of the flooding,” Mr Kennet said. “It offers such a unique environment in the Near East that I would think that Unesco is likely to approve it. “Because of the way the Bible was written, the area has been linked with the story of Gilgamesh, the flood myth and the story of the Garden of Eden. But, of course, that is just speculation.” Southern Mesopotamia’s interconnected marshlands and lakes are home to a predominantly Shiite population, the Ma’dan, whose way of life was preserved through relative isolation for 5,000 years.
The explorer Thesiger chronicled the lives of swamp-dwelling tribes in his 1964 classic The Marsh Arabs, having spent months living with remote communities during the 1950s. At that time, an estimated 400,000 people eked out subsistence livings among muddy waterways and islets, building delicately arched dwellings from marsh reeds and dining on fish and water buffalo. Archaeologists and literature buffs have theorised about references to the Marsh Arabs, heirs to the heritage of two great Fertile Crescent civilisations – the Babylonians and Sumerians – in ancient texts.
The process was accelerated under Saddam’s rule following the 1980-88 war with Iran, when his government built dams and canals to starve the wetlands of water during a spate of punitive policies against Shiites. By 2002, the permanent wetlands had dwindled to an area of only 760km, and as many as 300,000 Marsh Arabs were forced to leave their homes and head for camps in Iraq and abroad. “Because of what Saddam Hussein did, the marshlands were in danger of completely disappearing, as was the centuries-old culture of the Marsh Arabs,” said Narmin Othman, Iraq’s environment minister. “It had become an ecological but also a human tragedy.”After the toppling of Saddam in April 2003, surviving residents began breaking the embankments and opening the floodgates to allow water back into the marshlands. The following year, UN Environment Programme (Unep) workers began planting reed banks, installing solar panels and providing drinking water systems for 22,000 people as part of a wetland restoration plan. The most recent satellite images show that the four-year project, costing US$14 million (Dh51.4m), has restored about 58 per cent of the marshlands.
Thanks to a recent funding pledge from Italy, Unep officials announced this month that Iraqi conservationists will turn the wetlands into a national park and apply for a place on the list of World Heritage Sites. The application will boast of the marshlands’ cultural and natural importance, being home to a unique population as well as a spawning ground for Gulf fisheries and a variety of birds, including the ibis. Officials plan to apply in 2010 and hope the bid will be accepted the following year.
Iraq already has three sites on the heritage list following the inscription of Samarra – an important Islamic city from the Abbasid Empire that boasts distinctive spiralling minarets – in June last year. The country’s other sites are the cities of Ashur and Hatra.email@example.com
Nabateans were occupants of territory east and southwest of the Dead Sea. They were important in the inter testamental and New Testamental Periods. These ethnic communities in Biblical literature have been linked with Pattanam by P.J.Cherian. Now Cherian has picked up Dr. Derek Kennet for archaeological studies on Pattanam Why?
The British Museum conducted a seminar on NABATEANS on 28-30 July 2011 in which Dr. Derek Kennet was in the steering Committee
The Nabataeans in focusOrganizer: Dr Lucy Wadeson (University of Oxford)
The last few years have seen a significant intensification of archaeological activity in the environs of Petra. New projects, such as in Wadi Farasa, the Outer Siq, Umm el Biyara, and the various necropoleis and cultic areas of the surrounding mountains are particularly important in enhancing knowledge of the social, religious and funerary activities of the Nabataeans and their relation to the topography of the city, its urban core and how it functioned. This session aims to bring together key projects in order to gain a new understanding of how different areas of the city functioned, how they relate to one another and what original ideas they reveal about Nabataean culture, society and the urban development of Petra. The key questions that the session will tackle include: How did Petra’s natural environment influence the Nabataean architectural and sculptural style, urban planning, carving and construction techniques, and more social factors such as religious rituals and burial practices? How should we define the Nabataean cultural identity, which is only now being appreciated as something distinct from better-known surrounding cultures in the region? How do aspects of Petra’s urban, religious and funerary landscape relate to other cities and settlements in the territory of the Nabataeans and wider region? The latter question will engage with the topic of the Special Lecture that is to be delivered by Dr Laila Nehmé at the conference. In addition, this session will act as a platform to promote discussion of the various methodological approaches taken in archaeological projects related to the Nabataeans in the face of limited literary sources and debates over chronology. This will raise important questions concerning the direction in which future archaeological activity at Petra should be going
MBI Al Jaber Foundation Public Lecture
Steering & Editorial Committee of the Seminar for Arabian Studies
Biblical Archaeology in the British Museum
“To Shebna, who is over the house, and say, ‘What have you here and whom have you here, as he who hews himself a sepulchre on high, who carves a tomb for himself in a rock’?” Isaiah 22:15-18
Excavating St’ Thomas at Pattanam and Recording St’ Thomas in Archives-Family Histories With St’ Thomas History Started Accumulating in KCHR Archives When Pattanam Excavations Was in its Primary Stage—-http://www.keralahistory.ac.in/family.htm.12-11-2011;10.45 AM