Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "sri lanka"

Colombo: Archaeological researchers of Sri Lanka have discovered the ruins of an ancient hospital, believed to be about 2,000 years old, in Anuradhapura, the historic capital city of North Central Province.

The ruins of the ancient hospital have been found near the ancient Thuparamaya Dagoba that is believed to have been initially constructed in third century B.C.

A spa, medical rooms and medical equipment including grinding stones and knives have been recovered so far. A latrine system that is carved in rock has also been identified.

The Director of the Abhayagiriya Archaeological Project Prof. T.G. Kulathunga said that ruins are similar to the findings of other ancient hospitals in Anuradhapura. (source)

Four bone fragments of the Buddha housed in the National Museum, Delhi are on a two-week tour of Sri Lanka to enable Buddhists there to pay homage to them. While all relics of the Buddha are revered, these are special. They are part of the trove of 22 bone fragments that were discovered by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in the 1970s in Kapilavastu, Uttar Pradesh, where he grew up as a prince before renouncing the world.

The journey of the relics, from New Delhi to Colombo, and to six other places in Sri Lanka this year, being observed as the 2,600th anniversary of the Buddha’s enlightenment, brings up some old questions.

For the two governments, the historical antecedent of the relics is a settled fact, and the exchange of cultural artefacts between the two countries is a continuation of the long history that dates back to the days of Emperor Ashoka. Read more.

Jun 18, Colombo: Archaeology Department of Sri Lanka has found a skeleton of a pre-historic man from the Fa-Hien cave archaeological site in Pahiyangala of Kalutara district.

The skeleton is believed to be about 12,000 years old and belonged to the Homo sapiens species known as Balangoda Man.

Director General of the Archaeological Department Dr. Senarath Dissanayaka has said that a full skeleton of the Balangoda Man was found during excavations of the Fa-Hien cave. This is the first time a complete skeleton of a pre-historic human was discovered, according to the official.

Several other remains belonging to an older era have been found earlier from the site. These include two pre-historic human skulls that are about 37,000 years old.

The cave has been known for late Pleistocene human skeletal remains discovered in the 1960s and 1980s. (source)

Chinese authorities are seeking permission to explore Sri Lanka's coastline for possible Chinese shipwrecks from the ancient Silk Route era, an official said Wednesday.

Sri Lanka, an Indian Ocean island, was a key trading post along the ancient Silk Route which saw silk, spices and handicrafts travel by road and sea between Asia and Europe.

The seas around the island’s southern port of Galle are known to have at least 75 ancient ship wrecks, of which 25 have been well documented.

The unsolicited offer by Science Foundation of China to deploy experts to look for vessels along Sri Lanka’s coast was under consideration, Director General of Archaeology Senarath Disanayake told AFP.

He said, however, that the Chinese had asked to keep half of all antiquities brought up from the ocean bed — a condition Sri Lanka could not agree to. Read more.

Dec 23, Colombo: The researchers of Maritime Archaeology Unit of Sri Lanka in Galle say that they have recovered ruins of an ancient ship.

The wreckage of the ship was found in the sea two kilometers off the Chilaw Coast at a depth of nine meters, the researchers said. The area is commonly known as Elephant Foot Rock.

Earlier police seized an artillery gun excavated by unauthorized persons from this area. The gun discovered in 2006 was given to the Galle Maritime Museum in 2009.

Maritime archaeologists believe the ship belonged either to Portuguese or Dutch colonial period. (source)

Some stone weapons belonging to the Palaeolithic period have been unearthed in the Jaffna peninsula. This has also been assessed by Dr Shiran Deraniyagale, an expert on the pre-historic period, Deputy Archaeological Director Dr Nimal Perera told the Daily News.

"Evidence has been found pertaining to the Palaeolithic period in locations in South India, South Asia and Africa.

However, this is the first time in Sri Lanka’s history that such objects have been found relating to the Palaeolithic period in the country,” he said.

"These findings were made in Manikkai, close to Point Pedro in 1984. Nevertheless due to the 30 year war, excavation came to a halt making it impossible to unearth any evidence. Read more.

Colombo: Professor Raj Somadeva of the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology at Kelaniya University says that excavations in Haldummulla in Badulla district have led to the discovery of the oldest human dwelling identified on the island so far.

The archaeological site in Koswatta, Haldummulla, is situated 850 meters above sea level and it is the highest ground that remains of ancient human dwellings have been reported. The archaeologists have recovered the foundations of four houses and believe more remain under soil.

The excavations started last year and the second phase, now under way, will end in the next two weeks. Many pieces of red-colored pottery, clay beads, and ironware are among the findings. Read more.

Cultural and Arts Affairs Minister T B Ekanayake told the Daily News that around 100 archaeological sites will be renovated under the Wayamba Square project.

Nillangala Bodhigaraya, Reswehera, Kudakadugannawa Asanagaraya, Kondadeniya Galsohonkanathta archaeological reserve at Polpithigama, Nagolla, Kingdom at Wariyapola Nathagane, palace and sports stadium at Panduwasnuwara, Dambadeni ancient temple and Temple of the Tooth Relic are some of the sites under the Wayamba Square project, the Cultural Minister said.

Funds for the project will be allocated by the Central Cultural Fund, UNESCO and the Treasury. Read more.