The site at Pattanam covers approximately 1.5 sq. km and the core area measures about 600 x 400 m. The north-eastern part of the site was chosen for excavation based on the surface exploration undertaken earlier. Four Trenches (PT 07 I, PT 07 II, PT 07 III, PT 07 IV) and one trial trench (PTT 07 I) covering an area of 125 sq. m. was systematically excavated. The "locus methodology" adopted for this excavation distinguished each layer/feature/pit/structure/ activity area on the basis of colour, texture and composition.
Many important findings were obtained like human bones, storage jars, a gold ornament, glass beads, stone beads, utilitarian objects made of stone, copper and iron, typical pottery, early Chera coins, brick wall, brick platform, ring well, wharf with bollards, and a six meter long wooden canoe parallel to the wharf structure about 2.5 m. below surface level. The structures indicate a vast ‘urban’ settlement.
The excavations suggest that the site was first occupied by the indigenous "Megalithic" (Iron Age) people, followed by the Roman contact in the Early Historic Period. It appears that the site was continuously occupied at least from the 2nd century BC to the 10th century AD. The maritime contacts of this region during the Early Historic Period seem to have been extensive as evidenced by the large number of Roman amphora shreds, a few terra sigillata shreds, Sassanian, Yemenite and other West Asian potteries. Proliferation of roulette ware probably made in the Bengal-Gangetic region signifies the site's importance in the pan Indian context as well.