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Tuesday, October 20, 2020
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CATEGORY

Exploration

Truth behind the Prison cell of the last King in Colombo Fort

The Prison cell of the last King of Kandy, King Sri Wickrama Rajasingha in Colombo fort is a somewhat well-known monument. Although most individuals working in the Fort area do not notice it, it is a famous destination for tourists. It is situated within the premises of the Ceylinco House building down Janadipathi Mawatha (Queen’s Street) at the turn off to Bank of Ceylon Mawatha. The aim of this article is to see if this is really the prison cell of the last King or something else; as there appear currently two traditions to this story, a common tradition and an academic tradition.

Archaeological Sites around Dimbulagala: Part 02

By Chryshane Mendis Pulligoda Pulligoda is a small cave containing paintings of the Anuradhapura period situated on a small rock outcrop several hundred meters from the...

Archaeological Milestones in Sri Lanka: Part 02

This article series would sum up some of the most important events in the journey of Sri Lankan Archaeology, milestones which changed the way we think of the past, the way we know the past and the way we see and protect the past. Milestones in Sri Lanka archaeology would include important discoveries to institutional and policy establishments, which, has helped the field to progress to the present and helped expand our understanding of the past.

Archaeological Sites around Dimbulagala: Part 01

Dimbulagala is a large isolated mountain situated in the North Central Province, east of Polonnaruwa. Its history dates back to the early historical period of Sri Lanka and was home to a Monastic complex during the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa periods. Dimbulagala is presently most famous for the Dimbulagala Rajamaha Viharaya and its late chief incumbent the Ven. Sri Seelalankara Thero who had served the people of Dimbulagala for decades but was murdered in 1995 by the LTTE.

Kotte Heritage 4: Veherakanda

The historic 15th century Capital city of Kotte, founded as a fortress against the Arya Chakravarithi of Jaffna and made into a fortified city and administrative center by King Parakramabahu VI was the last Capital city to rule over a unified Sri Lanka until independence. Being the Capital, this city would have flourished with mansions of the royalty and nobility, great religious monuments of the Buddhist Viharas, dwellings of the common people and buildings of trade and commerce; the local literary sources such as the Sandesha Kavyas and the accounts of the foreigners such as the Portuguese describe this magnificent city in all its glory. Yet what remains at present is a fraction of what it was during its heyday. The previous articles in this series have discussed the various remains of the fortifications of Kotte. The present article explores yet another prominent monument known to many in Kotte; the Veherakanda ruins in Baddegana.

Untapped Archaeological Heritage: Muthugala

Muthugala, a quiet dry zone village situated in the Welikanda Divisional Secretariat in the Polonnaruwa District is a paradise of nature where man and wilderness live side by side. This untapped archaeological heritage of the ancient Sinhalese lies in the forests boardering the village and the Flood Plains National Park along the Mahaweli Ganga. To arrive here, one needs to arrive at Sewanapitiya junction which is 18km from Kanduruwela on the Batticaloa road and from there turn left on the road running along the canal, proceeding about a kilometer on this turn left once more along with the branching off of the canal. From there proceed along this for 5km passing lush green fields and home gardens to the village of Muthugala; from there turn left from the school along the bund of a small tank till the road ends at the forest, from there is an off road track which is a 10 minute hike to the site. The remains of the forest monetary is spread throughout that area on the rock outcrops surrounded by willus created by the Mahaweli River.

An Archaeological Study on the Kaduruwela Fortress

The main objective was to create a scale drawing of the architectural feature identified from Satellite images using the data taken from a field survey of the area. The secondary objective being the proper identification of the site using the archaeological evidence from the excavations.

Kotte Heritage 3: The Bastions and Passes

Passes and bastions are important elements of fortifications. The Passes, large and small give access to and from a fort and at times of war would be heavily guarded. Bastions are fortified projections on the ramparts of a fort from which defenders could easily defend the rampart as well as attack enemies due to its wide angle of fire. The fortress of Kotte was equipped with both these elements.

Kotte Heritage 2: The Ramparts and the Moat

Chryshane Mendis Program Coordinator, archaeology.lk The ramparts are an important feature in fortifications which serve as the defensive wall protecting the camp or city. Ramparts were...

Kotte Heritage 1: The Tunnels

What remains of the city at present and commonly known are the Veherakanda ruins, Alakesvara’s palace, some ruins at Parakumba Pirivena, the tunnel at Ananda Sastralaya, the Inner and outer moats and sections of the rampart. There are traces of other ruins within Ethul Kotte and Pita Kotte which belong to the fortress but which are not quite known and not conserved. This series will explore all known and unknown historic sites and the legends surrounding them.

Holocene hunter-gatherer/foragers in action

A recent archaeological survey carried out in the mountainous landscape of the area around Illukkumbura in Balangoda of the intermediate climatic zone in Sri Lanka has revealed information pertaining to the interaction held with the surrounding environment by the Holocene hunter-gatherer/foragers.

Study of Holocene hunter-gatherers in Sri Lanka : towards a regional model

The archaeological project titled 'Hunters in Transition' initiated in the year 2009 focuses the Holocene adaptations of the prehistoric hunter-gatherers occupied in the deep mountainous hinterland in Sri Lanka.

Latest news

Book Review: Anubudhu Mihindu Mahimi – Mihindhu High Priest-The Second Buddha

Anubudhu Mihidhu Mahahimi is a much-awaited biography on the Arahath Mahinda who was instrumental in introducing Buddhism to our island.

Annaikoṭṭai Seal: Is it Tamil Brāhmī? – By Prasad Fonseka

A team of researchers from the Jaffna University launched archaeological excavation of a megalithic burial site at Annaikoṭṭai in Jaffna Peninsula which commenced in 1980. In 1981 the discoverer of a steatite seal with a Brāhmī inscription and some other symbols was a significant milestone. The first attempt to decipher was done by Dr Kartigesu Indrapala of the Jaffna University. His reading was kovetem, which denotes the chief or king. However, overall it was considered as a Tamil Inscription and furthermore a Tamil Brāhmī inscription.

Fortifications and the Landscape: A GIS Inventory and Mapping of Kandyan and Dutch Fortifications in Sri Lanka

Fortifications and the Landscape: A GIS Inventory and Mapping of Kandyan and Dutch Fortifications in Sri Lanka Extended Abstract H.M. Chryshane Mendis Master’s thesis MA Landscape and Heritage...

In loving memory of Dr. Roland Silva, a pillar of Sri Lankan Archaeology

Deshamanya Vidya Jyothi Dr. Roland Silva is one of the foremost Asian experts in the conservation of historical monuments and sites and one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent archaeologists. He was the former Commissioner of Archaeology (1983-1990) and the Founder Director General of the Central Cultural Fund that implemented the UNESCO-Sri Lanka Project of the Cultural Triangle, former Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa, former President of the World Body of Conservators, the first international president of ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) from Asia (1990-1999) and UNESCO Chair and the founder President of The National Trust Sri Lanka.

New Light on The Decline of Polonnaruwa (1196-1215): The Tamil Pillar Inscription from Rankot Vihara

The Tamil Pillar Inscription at the premises of the Rankot Vihara was discovered during the course of an archaeological survey conducted by the Cultural...
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