Exploration

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. An area of approximately 15 acres of the summit of an elevated height of 550m msl. has a surface scattering of stone implements (quartz and chert), stone pebbles used as hammers cum pestles.

 

Panoramic view of the site explored

A large number of pitted-hammers reported suggest that a fairly long period of residential camping held at the location probably during the summer seasons. The assemblage of stone implements collected consists of specimens of flake technology which is comparable with the similar implements excavated from the prehistoric cave occupation in the area such as Lunugalge, Paragamadittagalge and Alugalge. The prehistoric occupations of all those caves are chronologically ascribed to the period between 4500 and 3450 cal. BCE showing the mid/late Holocene human existence.

Sampling is in progress

A magnificent artifact of a piece of a perforated quartz  flake, probably used as a pendent recovered from the surface of the explored location provides us an explicit example to their inclination towards symbolic expression. The panoramic view of the adjoining landscape may have been functioned as one of the stimulants to enhance the emotions of the sensitive personalities of those communities while push them into such a sentimental terrain.

Perforated quartz flake recovered from the site

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. Three separate climatic regions i.e.  wet, intermediate and dry zone which are geographically adjacent to each other have been archaeologically investigated through a series of reconnaissance surveys and excavations.

A view of the Vavullena cave which is a large prehistoric occupation in Illukkumbura of Balangoda

Floral and faunal distribution in the sampled area were mapped against the dispersal of prehistoric sites. Six Spatio-temporal caves situated in the region; the elevation ranging between 900 and 300m msl. fall into the period between 9000 -3500 cal. BCE were probed to establish a spatio-temporal framework to the Holocene cultural development. All of the caves investigated are situated not very far from each other; the maximum distance does not exceed 20km.

Approaching the Vavullena cave in Paragahamaditta

Identification of a natural formation of a quartz deposit which had been extensively exploited for lithic manufacture (as suggested by the artifacts excavated)  suggests as one of the key attractors of the colonization of its surrounding landscape. 25 varieties of wild grass seeds, nuts together with an extensive index of small animals hunted suggest that the Holocene hunters-gatherers had shown a marked resilience to the new climatic regime. Some of the symbolic artifacts excavated evidenced the fresh approach of them seeing themselves and their external world.

A symbolic object (probably a female genital)

Three inscriptions discovered in Delft Island

The marine archaeologists from the Maritime Archaeology Unit (MAU) of Central Cultural Fund (CCF) established in Galle in their archaeological explorations carried out in Delft Island in the North of Sri Lanka in August this year have discovered three inscriptions that have not been hither to revealed.

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Brahmi script

Brahmi script

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Tamil Inscription 01

Tamil Inscription 01

 

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Tamil Inscription 02

Tamil Inscription 02

It has been observed that many archaeological ruins and artifacts could be seen scattered all over the island. Among them are remains of three ancient stupas of different sizes. The three inscriptions could be seen among the paved stones around the biggest of the three stupas which has a diameter of 13.54 meters and circumference of 31.93 meters.

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Small Degaba

Small Degaba

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Large Degaba

Large Degaba

 

Two of the three inscriptions are in Tamil script and the other is in Brahmi script. According to scientific data of the scripts the two Tamil inscriptions belong to the 14 – 15 centuries while the inscription having Brahmi script would date back to the 1st or 2nd century say calligraphists. According to the portion of the inscription that is legible the old Brahmi inscription had been written in Sinhalese prakrit language says Lecturer of calligraphy and epigraph at Rajarata University Chandima Ambanwala.

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Galle Maritime Archaeology Unit - Research Team

Galle Maritime Archaeology Unit – Research Team

 

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Chandima Ambanwala

Chandima Ambanwala

 

The discovery is an important revelation among the discoveries in the archaeological sector carried out in recent times and further studies are ongoing regarding the script found in the inscriptions.

Note and Photographs are by Mahinda Karunarathan

Mahinda Karunarathna and Chandima Ambanwala are co-founders of archaeology.lk[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Archaeology Demonstrations: Let’s meet people who lived in Udawalawe basin 3500 years ago!

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Sri Lankan archaeologists have shown that inhabitation of people in Sri Lanka could be dated back to 1.6 million years. Dedication exercised by our archaeologists to unwrap the proud past of the ancient people in Sri Lanka is immense. It is with pride that archaeology.lk share with you the essence of this experience

Until now only professional archaeologists have been the only shareholders in this venture to explore the ancient man in Sri Lanka that, in fact, should receive contributions from all. It is with great pleasure that we announce that an opportunity has been created now for you to experience the journey

exploring for the ancient man in Sri Lanka.

We would like to share with you the fascination of

the Haldummulla archaeological exploration that commences in August, 2011 and also experience the rare opportunity of partaking in an excavation of an ancient cemetery at Haldummulla which would reveal the life pattern of those ancient people

Conducted by

Prof. Raj Somadewa

Raj Somadewa PhD
Professor discount viagra of Archaeology
Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology, Sri Lanka

The period excavations could be experienced is
14 days in August, 2011.

Explorations could be experienced on
4 days in September, 2011.

(Only a limited number would be considered for excavation and exploration projects)

For more information call
Anuradha – 0777428282
Mahinda –  0726069526
info@archaeology.lk

Note: More details will be published in this website by August 2 , 2011

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