Research Paper

AN INTRODUCTION TO SRI LANKAN GNEISS AND GRANITE CAVES

R. Armstrong L. Osborne1, Pathmakumara Jayasingha2, Wasantha S. Weliange3
1Education & Social Work, A35, The University of Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia, armstrong.osborne@sydney.edu.au
2Research Laboratory, Central Cultural Fund, 11 Independence Avenue, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka, jpathma@yahoo.com
3 Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology, Bauddhaloka Mawatha


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Fa Hien Cave

Fa Hien Cave

Commencing in 2008 with a focus on caves in metamorphic terrains, the project Cave Science Sri Lanka has investigated forty-eight caves. Thirty-seven caves have been mapped by the Sri Lankan members of the project, twenty-five have been investigated in more detail and samples have been collected from twelve caves for analysis. In addition to rockshelters, boulder caves, tectonic caves and carbonate karst caves developed in marble and dolomite four distinct types of caves, Tunnel Caves, Block Breakdown Caves, Arch Caves and Network Caves have been recognised in Proterozoic gneiss and Cambrian granite in Sri Lanka. While previous workers have suggested that these caves have either formed in what was called gneiss but was really carbonate rock, or are the spaces left behind in the granitic rock after bodies of carbonate rock were removed, field evidence suggests that phreatic solution of granitic rock and/or formation and removal of phantomized granitic rock play a significant role in speleogenesis.

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A Gemological Perspective of Gem Beads of Jetavana World Heritage Site, Sri Lanka

Pathmakumara Jayasingha – Research Scientist / Geologist, Research Laboratary, Central Cultural Fund, Sri Lanka. ( jpathma@yahoo.com )
(This was first published in Archaeologia, Part 2, Volume 1, April 2011)

Introduction

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Some natural and synthetic beads of Jethawanaya bead collection

Beads were used as bodily ornaments by ancient people. Bead making is an art and a variety of materials like stones, gems, corals, shells, amber, wood, metals etc have been used since prehistoric time (Dubin 1987). The use of natural materials varied from region to region, country to country and place to place. Later the bead making process has been developed as an industry with better knowledge and advanced technology that created synthetic beads and properly faceted natural beads. After the beginning of long distance trade, knowledge and techniques of bead making were circulated and different kinds of materials and beads were distributed around the world. As a centre for trading in ancient times, Sri Lankan culture was enhanced and gained different techniques, materials and beads from different countries. Sri Lanka is rich in raw materials for making either natural or synthetic beads.

Ancient chronicles of Sri Lanka have mentioned the use of gems as decorative materials from ancient times (Mahavamsa 300 AD, Thupavamsa 300-600 AD). Gems, are minerals which have specific characteristics. Beauty defined by its colour, degree of transparency, lustre, reflective effect, rarity and durability of a gemstone decide the class of a gemstone, indicating if it is either precious or semiprecious. The main gem varieties found in Sri Lanka are Corundum, Chrysoberyl, Zircon, Garnet, Tourmaline, Beryl, Moonstone, Topaz and Quartz family. Sri Lankan people have used gems not only to create jewellery but also to decorate royal palaces and religious places. One of the best examples is the “Pabalu Wehera” in Polonnaruva which was said to be decorated with beads. There are evidencs of using gems for making beads. In subsequent periods, beads were also manufactured synthetically.

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garnet_beads_with_different

Garnet beads with different
shapes

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Geological Background of Some Archaeological Sites of Sri Lanka

Itroduction

by Pathmakumara Jayasingha(Originally published in Sirinimal Lakdusinghe Felicitation Volume, published here with author’s permission)

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Sigiriya Rock Units

Different rock units of Sigiriya

Sri Lanka is well known for its richness of archaeological sites.As described in the great chronicles of Mahavamsa (300A.D.),Thupavamsa (300-600A.D.) and many others,such places are not restricted to one particular region or place and they are scattered all around the island.During the past 2500 years of written history of Sri Lanka, earth materials have been used to build up ancient cities,royal palaces and mighty irrigation systems. Not only that,tangible evidence from archaeological sites and museums confirm the extensive use of stone materials by ancient people for their day today  requirements. Scientific identification of such materials is essential to understand and interpret ancient technological developments, trade and cultural evolution.

Geological knowledge has been commonly applied in the field of archaeology for long time in a  global context (Renfrew 1976; Rapp & Hill 1998; Goudie 1987). In contrast, such geological studies on archaeological sites of Sri Lanka are quite rare, although it has only been around forty years ago from the establishment of geology in the country. As seen today,lack of interest of researchers in both fields might be the main reason for this aloofness. Insufficient geological knowledge on archaeological sites has resulted in misleading explanations and use of incorrect terminology among historians and  archaeologists.

However, it is well understood that comprehensive background knowledge on the geology of  archaeological sites is a present day major requirement. This study was carried out to fulfill that  requirement and to give a base line of information for future research and interpretations.

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Visualization and Haptic Rendering of Ancient Woodcarvings in Sri Lanka

Abstract:

This research presents a case study focused on the visualization and haptic rendering of ancient woodcarvings in Sri Lanka. This paper introduces

a virtual reality framework for realistic visual simulation of ancient woodcarvings works with the use of advanced human computer interaction cheap viagra order technologies. (more…)

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