Treasure hunters vandalise ancient Swastika Pond

By Karunaratne Gamage
Polonnaruwa Corr

Archaeological monument Sawasthika Pokuna (Swastika Pond) situated south of the historic Rankot Vehera in Polonnaruwa has been dug up and damaged by a group of treasure hunters.

It is believed to have been built during the time of Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186 AD) and is considered one of the most beautiful ancient ponds in the country. It was declared an archaeological monument and conserved by the Central Cultural Fund recently.

Treasure hunters have dug up a hole in the middle of the pond. The excavation has damaged the brick wall and plaster layers. Officials of the Department of Archaeology suspect the treasure hunters had caused the damage a few days ago but were unable to give an exact date.

Investigations are being conducted jointly by the Department of Archaeology and the Archaeology Unit of the Polonnaruwa police.

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