Polonnaruwa excavations prove human habitation there 4000 to 5000 years


Text and Pix By Karunaratne Gamage

Director General of the Central Cultural Fund Prof. Prishantha Gunawardena yesterday said that recent archaeological excavations in Polonnaruwa had proved there were human settlements in the area 4,000-5,000 years ago.

The excavations hitherto conducted near Shiva Devalaya II had unearthed foundation of a building complex belonging to the Anuradhapura Period which existed before the Polonnaruwa Period, he said.

Prof. Gunwardena said the findings corroborated what was said in the chronicles about human settlements in the area.

Small tools made of stone and iron could have been used by them to tear the skin from the flesh of the hunted animals and tear the skin into pieces," Gunawardena said.

The excavations in Polonnaruwa will go on for five years.

The excavations team has been joined by Prof of Archaeology of Durham University, England Prof. Robin Cunningham, while specialists in Archaeology from Nepal, India, Bangladesh etc., and undergrads from Sri Lankan universities studying archaeology will also take part in the excavations.

The excavations would be conducted in a more scientific manner, the professor assured.

A periphery of 50 kilometres encompassing the ancient Polonnaruwa Archaeological site consisting of areas of Somawathiya, Dimbulagala, Medirigiriya, Minneriya Nagalakanda, Bakamuna and Elahera would be subjected to research and excavations, Prof. Gunawardena said.

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