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Experimental archaeology: fundamentals of the manufacture and use of prehistoric stone artifacts


The PGIAR is planning to organize a workshop on experimental archaeology: fundamentals of the manufacture and use of prehistoric stone artifacts on 29th -30th of December, 2018 from 9.00 am at the PGIAR labs/auditorium. The objective of this workshop is to understand stone tool making industry and their functions. Students will be provided with raw material, hammerstones, etc. and will be given basic training to understand knapping techniques (techniques to make stone tools). They will then have a structured workshop on the use of flakes on different plant material and procedures on documentation of experimental studies that are being conducted. This workshop will be conducted by the senior scholars from India and Sri Lanka: Prof. Santhi Pappu, Founder/Secretary Sharma centre for Heritage Education, India, Dr. Kumar Akhilesh, Director, Sharma Centre for Heritage Education, India, Dr. Nimal Perera, Former Deputy Director, Excavation/Department of Archaeology, Dr. S. U. Deraniyagala, Former Director General, Department of Archaeology.

Please use the following map for directions.


29.12.2018 (Saturday)
Start time 9.00 am

Dr. T. R. Premathilake

9.15-10.15 Keynote Lecture: New approaches in the Study of Lithic Technology: Examples from India

Prof. Shanti Pappu  +  Discussion

10.15-10.30  TEA
10.30-11.15 Lecture:   Exploring lithic technological strategies through time (Interactive talk, demonstrations of technological strategies and viewing films)

Dr. Kumar Akhilesh  + Discussion

11.15-12.30 Lithic knapping
12.30-1.30 LUNCH
1.30-2.45 Lithic knapping
2.45-3.00 TEA
3.00-5.00 Lithic knapping
30.12.2018 (Sunday)
Start time 9.00 am
9.00-10.00 Experience on stone tool found in Sri Lanka

Dr. S. U Deraniyagala and Dr. Nimal Perera

10.00-12.00  Lithic knapping
12.00-1.00 LUNCH
1.00-3.00 Lithic knapping
3.00-3.15 TEA
3.15-4.00 Lithic knapping


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A Workshop on Understanding Wetland Palaeoecology/ Environmental Archaeology and Integrated Microscopy Approaches in Archaeobotany


The PGIAR is planning to organize a workshop on understanding wetland palaeoecology/ environmental archaeology and integrated microscopy approaches in archaeobotany on 13th  – 14th of December, 2018. This workshop will include lectures, discussions, and demonstrations on microscopic observations on the materials collected from the Horton Plains, Muthurajawella wetlands/Negombo Lagoon and Wilpattu. The workshop will be conducted by a team comprising of Dr. R. Premathilake from the PGIAR and Prof. C. O. Hunt, Professor of Cultural Palaeoecology, School of Natural Science and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, Editor, the Journal of Archaeological Science-Report and Editorial Board Member, Journal of Archaeological Science. The objective of this workshop will be to understand the importance of wetland palaeoecology and sampling strategies used in environmental archaeology, e.g., understanding palaeo-climate, palaeo-vegetation, and human activities in the past. The lectures will be conducted in English and at the end of each lecture a summary will be given in Sinhala.

The targeted groups are final year archaeology special students,  recent archaeology graduates, and  Botany and Geology graduates who are interested in Environmental Archaeology.

Please register using the following registration form. Please scroll down for schedule.


Registration Form

Institutional Affiliation:(University students should be final year students of the Special Degree Programme in Archaeology)

Educational Level



13th December 2018
Start time 9.00 am

Dr. T. R. Premathilake

9.15-10.15 Keynote Lecture: Multi-method investigations of environmental change and human impact in the Tropics: lessons from Southeast Asia

Prof. C. O. Hunt

10.15-10.30 Discussion
10.30-10.45 TEA
10.45-11.15 Introduction to environmental archaeology of Sri Lanka

Dr. S. U. Deraniyagala

11.15-12.00 Experience on faunal remain analysis from citadel excavation in Anuradhapura

Prof.  R. M. M. Chandraratne  

12.00-1.15 LUNCH
1.15-2.00 Progress on environmental archaeology research in Sri Lanka

Dr. T. R. Premathilake

2.00-2.30 Micro-charcoal and pollen proxy inferred environmental changes during the mid-late Holocene from the Horton Plains Central Sri Lanka

Mrs. Nuvanprabha Kapugeekiyana Whittall (M. Sc)

2.30-3.00 Understanding phytolith Taphonomy on archaeological context:  a case study from Fahien Rockshelter

Mrs. Sewwandhi  Gunawardena  (M. Sc)

3.00-3.15 TEA
3.15-3.45 Palaeo-environmental records from Rockshelters in Sri Lanka

Dr. Nimal Perera

3.45-4.00 Final Discussion
14th December 2018
Start time 9.00 am
9.00-9.30 Introduction to integrated microscopy approaches in archaeo-botany

Dr. T. R. Premathilake

9.30-10.30 A Video: on sample collection procedures  in Muthurajawella wetland

(1)  Stratigraphical coring

(2)  Understanding litho-, bio- and chrono-stratigraphy

(3)  Sampling and Sub-samplings

(4)  Laboratory protocols

Prof. C. O. Hunt and Dr. T. R. Premathilake

10.30-10.45 TEA
10.45-12.15 Demonstration: microscope session for modern pollen/spores and fossil pollen, NPP and phytoliths

Prof. C. O. Hunt

Dr. T. R. Premathilake



12.15-1.15 LUNCH
1.15-2.30 Understanding issues related to micro fossil taphonomy (e.g. pollen, phytolith, NPP and micro-charcoal)

Prof. C. O. Hunt

2.30-2.45 TEA
2.45-3.15 Presenting microscopic data and final discussion on archaeo-botany

Prof. C. O. Hunt and Dr. T. R. Premathilake

3.00-4.00 Poster presentation by Master Students
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International Workshop and Lecture Series on Recent Advances in Indian History and Archaeology and Sri Lanka- South India Relations


India is the nearest neighbour of Sri Lanka and the greatest cultural inspiration of the Island nation. The historical and Archaeological evidence amply supports this assertion. Indian History and Archaeology is taught across universities in Sri Lanka to mark these obvious historical relations between the two countries. Great strides have been made in both disciplines in India and Sri Lanka in the recent past, which need to be reflected in the university curriculum and introduced to students and early career academics. Historically, academics across the Palk Strait have collaborated in training students and conducting research, which was impacted lately due to political sensitivity. Restoration of peace in Sri Lanka has once again created an excellent opportunity to revive these age-old academic relations.

Therefore, the aims of the International Workshop and Lecture Series are to provide a platform for Indian and Sri Lankan historians and archaeologist as well as students in the Special Degree Programmes in History and Archaeology and Early Career Academics and Professionals in Archaeology to meet and discuss recent advances in the said disciplines. It also aims to revive academic interaction between academic institutions and colleagues across Palk Strait and reread Sri Lanka- India relations in general and South India- Sri Lanka in particular. This meeting will also provide an opportunity for students and early career academics to establish contacts with Indian scholars for possible postgraduate opportunities.

Deadline For Registration: August 28, 2018

Confirm Your Participation On Or Before August 30, 2018

Lecture Series And The Workshop

The lecture series and hands-on training in stone knapping (stone tool production) will be conducted by reputed academics and researchers from India and Sri Lanka.

Registration And Applications

Applications are called from students in the Special Degree Programmes in History and Archaeology and Early Career Academics and Professionals in Archaeology.

Registration, attendance at lectures and workshop and conference material, lodging and food are totally free. Early career academics and professionals may need to find accommodation for a night.

For more information please visit this site.