Ancient Lanka 2022-11-18T12:05:08-07:00 Samanti Kulatilake Open Journal Systems <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ancient Lanka</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is a collaboratively peer reviewed and collaboratively edited open access publication that explores Sri Lanka’s past. Following a flexible publication frequency </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ancient Lanka</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> uses a multidisciplinary approach in its development of content that is of interest to academics and the general public. Invited reports on archaeological excavations, surveys, material and commentary related to reconstructing the past of Sri Lanka are considered for publication. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Disciplines: Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Bioarchaeology, Palaeoanthropology, Palaeoecology and cognate disciplines</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Languages: English, Sinhala, Tamil</span></p> Siran - Companion, Scholar and Visionary 2022-09-27T07:11:19-06:00 Sudharshan Seneviratne <p>An appreciation of Siran Deraniyagala.</p> 2022-09-27T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Sudharshan Seneviratne The Archaeologist Dressed in White 2022-09-25T20:38:09-06:00 Osmund Bopearachchi <p>An appreciation of Siran Deraniyagala.</p> 2022-09-27T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Osmund Bopearachchi The Pioneer who Ushered a New Era in Sri Lankan Archaeology 2022-10-02T12:42:27-06:00 L.V.A de Mel <p>In this appreciation written in Sinhala, the practical, team-oriented, detailed, organized and intuitive approach of Siran Deraniyagla’s archaeological excavations and surveys is described. Stories from the field and rare images are presented herein, demonstrating how Deraniyagala led by example.</p> 2022-10-02T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 L.V.A de Mel In the Field with Siran and a Memorable Visit to Beli-Lena 2022-09-30T11:44:59-06:00 Gill Juleff <p>An appreciation of Siran Deraniyagala.</p> 2022-10-08T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Gill Juleff Dr. Siran Deraniyagala: The Archaeologist who Connected North and South Sri Lanka 2022-09-13T10:39:13-06:00 P Pushparatnam <p>In this appreciation written in Tamil, the pioneering work and holistic nature of Siran Deraniyagala’s archaeological excavations and surveys are described. The connections he facilitated between the north and south of Sri Lanka that led to fruitful research revealing the archaeological heritage of northern Sri Lanka are explored.</p> 2022-10-21T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 P Pushparatnam Deraniyagala the Visionary 2022-10-21T12:18:10-06:00 Jay Stock <p>An appreciation of Siran Deraniyagala</p> 2022-10-21T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Jay Stock Deraniyagala the Thoughtful Colleague 2022-10-31T15:10:05-06:00 Diane Hawkey <p>An appreciation of Siran Deraniyagala.</p> 2022-10-31T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Diane Hawkey Deraniyagala the Scientist 2022-11-01T10:55:26-06:00 Samanti Kulatilake <p>An appreciation of Siran Deraniyagala.</p> 2022-11-01T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Samanti Kulatilake Deraniyagala the Unwavering Supporter of Researchers 2022-11-01T14:52:09-06:00 Priyantha Karunaratne <p>An appreciation of Siran Deraniyagala.</p> 2022-11-01T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Priyantha Karunaratne Deraniyagala - A True Academic 2022-11-18T11:43:52-07:00 Patrick Faulkner <p>An appreciation of Siran Deraniyagala.</p> 2022-11-18T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Patrick Faulkner Unwritten memories of Dr. Siran Deraniyagala 2022-11-18T11:48:34-07:00 Gamini Adikari <p>An appreciation of Dr. Siran Deraniyagala.</p> 2022-12-06T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Gamini Adikari An Ecological Approach to Studying Sri Lanka’s Past: Contributions of Siran Deraniyagala 2022-11-18T12:05:08-07:00 Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi Sonali Premarathne <p>An appreciation of Siran Deraniyagala with a focus on zooarchaeology.</p> 2022-12-08T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, Sonali Premarathne The Editorial 2022-08-28T16:55:00-06:00 Samanti Kulatilake <p><em>Ancient Lanka </em>is an Open Access Journal, which publishes collaboratively reviewed articles and reports on excavations, surveys and material as well as invited or submitted commentary related to reconstructing the past of Sri Lanka. Following a flexible (rolling) publication frequency, <em>Ancient Lanka</em> maintains a multidisciplinary approach in its development of content that is of interest to academics and the general public.</p> 2022-09-27T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Samanti Kulatilake A Note from the Guest Editors 2022-09-01T15:56:48-06:00 Anura Manatunga Nimal Perera Chryshane Mendis 2022-09-27T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Anura Manatunga, Nimal Perera, Chryshane Mendis Dedication 2022-09-27T07:43:50-06:00 Saman Kumara Eregama <p>Dr. Siran Deraniyagala in the field at Fa Hien Lena, Wet Zone cave site, Sri Lanka.</p> <p>Photo credits: Saman Kumara Eregama</p> 2022-09-27T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Saman Kumara Eregama Siran Deraniyagala: Founder of Modern Sri Lankan Archaeology 2022-09-02T07:02:54-06:00 Nimal Perera <p>Research on the prehistory of Sri Lanka and the name of Siran Deraniyagala are entwined in a lasting legacy. Harvard-trained prehistorian and former Director-General of the Department of Archaeology of the Government of Sri Lanka, Deraniyagala was the founder of modern Sri Lankan prehistoric archaeology and has been responsible for significant discoveries, while setting the direction and emphases in the study of prehistory for the island and the region. Siran Upendra Deraniyagala was born in 1942 to a prominent family of scholars with his father being the famous naturalist Dr. Paulus Edward Pieris (P.E.P) Deraniyagala and his paternal grandfather the famous historian Sir Paul E. Pieris. Having joined the Archaeological Survey of Ceylon as the first Assistant Commissioner of the Excavation Branch and eventually in the position of Director-General, Siran Deraniyagala guided the archaeological scene of Sri Lanka with problem oriented archaeological research. His research methodology and outstanding knowledge of survey and stratigraphic practice and excavation set the stage for subsequent professionalism in field archaeology in the country. </p> 2022-10-06T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Nimal Perera Siran Upendra Deraniyagala - Bibliography 2022-09-24T22:31:12-06:00 Kanchana Dehigama <p class="Default" style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="EN-US">Siran Upendra Deraniyagala (1942-2021), pioneer Sri Lankan prehistorian and archaeologist published his scholarly work in diverse venues. In this document, the disseminated work of Siran Deraniyagala is compiled as a bibliography. Books, journal articles, book chapters, which incorporate accounts of Sri Lanka’s prehistory comprise the valuable academic work of Siran Deraniyagala. Administration reports composed when he served as the Director General of the Department of Archaeology in Sri Lanka and several Sinhala publications, presentations and lectures are also included in this bibliography.</span></p> 2022-09-27T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Kanchana Dehigama Siran Deraniyagala’s Contribution to Maritime Archaeology in Sri Lanka 2022-09-13T08:16:33-06:00 Somasiri Devendra <p>This appreciation of Siran Deraniyagala traces certain steps taken, which promoted and established maritime archaeology in Sri Lanka. He made the <span style="font-size: 0.875rem; font-family: 'Noto Sans', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Archaeological Impact Assessment (AIA) of a project for Galle Harbour </span><span style="font-size: 0.875rem; font-family: 'Noto Sans', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">possible by </span><span style="font-size: 0.875rem; font-family: 'Noto Sans', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">expanding the mandate of the Archaeology Department to cover the territorial sea, thus providing the Department with oversight and statutory control over this vast area. He </span><span style="font-size: 0.875rem; font-family: 'Noto Sans', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">made it possible for the Department to conduct such surveys even when it lacked specialists in its own cadre and </span><span style="font-size: 0.875rem; font-family: 'Noto Sans', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">freed the Department from having recourse to supplementary votes for non-budgeted activities by making the project proponents bear the cost of AIAs. The significant impact Deraniyagala had on Maritime Archaeology of Sri Lanka is described and gratefully acknowledged.</span></p> 2022-09-27T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Somasiri Devendra Archaeological Evidence from the Kuragala Site, Sri Lanka 2022-10-14T10:29:04-06:00 Saman Kumara Eregama <p>The Kuragala archaeological site is located in the Balangoda division of the Ratnapura district, southwestern Sri Lanka. This paper summarises archaeological investigations carried out in and around Kuragala indicating that human habitation in the region extended beyond 15,000 years into the past. Chronometric dating of the site and archaeological evidence show that Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene modern humans who followed a hunting and gathering subsistence pattern lived in this region. Archaeological finds and data from the Kuragala excavation include microlithic tools, bone tools, processed animal bones and beads, which indicate behavioural modernity among the inhabitants. This paper also discusses aspects of early historic occupation of the site based on the existence of human-modified drip-ledge caves and stone inscriptions.</p> <p>(Sinhala Article)</p> 2022-10-14T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Saman Kumara Eregama Early Holocene Human Burials from Fa Hien-lena and Kuragala, Sri Lanka 2022-09-21T12:02:08-06:00 Jay Stock Emma Pomeroy Oshan Wedage Saman Eregama Siran Deraniyagala Nimal Perera Patrick Roberts Nicole Boivin Michael Petraglia <p>Few human burials from Sri Lankan archaeological contexts have been described. Here we report on the analysis of two early Holocene skeletons, FH8, a young adult female skeleton excavated from Fa Hien-lena and dated to 10,640-10,139 cal BP, and BK1, a middle adult male skeleton excavated at Kuragala and dated to 7,170-6,950 cal BP. The skeletons are both highly fragmentary, which poses challenges for their thorough analysis. However, this paper describes the archaeological context, mortuary treatment and archaeothanatology of the burials, post-mortem taphonomy of human remains, the osteobiography of both individuals, and some general observations on their morphology relative to one another and a broader range of late Pleistocene and Holocene foragers. The results demonstrate common elements of funerary treatment between these two burials, such as interment on the left side with right hands placed near or over the face. The FH8 individual died at a young age and shows some signs of early childhood stress. Both skeletons show moderate to high degrees of tooth wear for their relative ages, and no evidence for dental disease. The body size estimates of FH8 and BK1 fall in the range that would be expected of tropical or temperate forest foragers, although BK1 has a relatively low body mass relative to stature, which aligns his phenotype with populations of more arid environments. We demonstrate that much can be potentially learned about human populations and prehistoric behaviours from skeletal analyses. </p> 2022-10-21T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Jay Stock, Emma Pomeroy, Oshan Wedage, Saman Eregama, Siran Deraniyagala, Nimal Perera, Patrick Roberts, Nicole Boivin, Michael Petraglia The Lifeways of Early Kantharodai, Sri Lanka 2022-11-06T11:13:27-07:00 Barbara Helwing Nimal Perera P Pushparatnam Jude Perera Thilanka Siriwardana Martin R. Wright Patrick Faulkner <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the 1st</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> millennium BCE Sri Lanka was central to the wide-spanning trading networks in the Western Indian Ocean region. Population agglomerations grew on the coast and further inland, where Anuradhapura emerged as the major central place. Parallel agglomerations formed in the south in Tissamaharama and in the north on Jaffna Peninsula in Kantharodai. The site of Kantharodai on the northern tip of Sri Lanka is the largest known early historic mound site on the Jaffna Peninsula, thought to represent the ancient centre of the region. The Early Historic occupation of Kantharodai began ca. 400-100 BCE. In our study we focus on the older historic occupation phase at Kantharodai, represented by a rich midden deposit of domestic refuse that offer insights into the environmental conditions faced by early occupants of the site and their modes of subsistence. We provide a glimpse into the subsistence strategies of the earliest settled population in Kantharodai who augmented a diet based on domesticated livestock through multiple wild species from forests, swamps, mangroves and marine habitats. Based on the faunal evidence from early Kantharodai, this complex socio-economic structure appears to have been in operation, confirming proposed models of mixed economies in operation in the Early Historic period of the region. </span></p> 2022-11-18T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Barbara Helwing, Nimal Perera, P Pushparatnam, Jude Perera, Thilanka Siriwardana, Martin R. Wright, Patrick Faulkner From Forests to the Coast - Multidisciplinary Investigation of Human Adaptations at the Mini-athiliya Shell Midden, Sri Lanka 2022-10-22T05:55:07-06:00 Patrick Roberts Jay Stock Samanti Kulatilake Nicole Boivin Michael Petraglia Siran Deraniyagala Nimal Perera <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Over the last three decades, Sri Lanka has risen to international prominence as a key area for exploring past forager adaptations. Much of this discussion has focused on the lowland rainforests of the Wet Zone of the island, and their preservation of the earliest fossils of our species, bone tools, and microlithic technologies in the region ca. 45,000 years ago. It has been recognized that the northern and southern coasts of Sri Lanka represent crucial locales for studying human occupation and adaptation through the Pleistocene and Holocene. Here, we revisit the important shell midden site of Mini-athiliya (dating to ca. 4,000 cal. years BP), on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, which has yielded human remains alongside microlithic stone tools and animal remains. We present a comparative analysis of body size variation of the human remains belonging to the HMA 6 adult skeleton from Mini-athiliya with a wider database of foragers to investigate local adaptations. We also apply stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis to the tooth enamel of four other individuals documented at Mini-athiliya in order to determine their dietary reliance on forest, grassland, or coastal resources. Together, our results highlight that, rather than a clear distinction between earlier forest adaptations and later coastal specialisation, the Mini-athiliya individuals provide evidence for a plastic spectrum of ecological adaptation. We argue for continued research on how human populations in different parts of the island interacted and adapted to its diverse tropical settings across space and time.</span></p> 2022-11-18T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Patrick Roberts, Jay Stock, Samanti Kulatilake, Nicole Boivin, Michael Petraglia, Siran Deraniyagala, Nimal Perera Palynological Evidence from Sediment Samples Associated with the Early Holocene Human Skeleton from Fa Hien-lena, Sri Lanka 2022-11-18T10:29:05-07:00 Ratnasiri Premathilake T.S. Erandathee Kumari <p>This paper highlights the value of pollen-analytical studies in the prehistoric archaeological context at the Fa Hien rock shelter. The Fa Hien rock shelter located in the Wet Zone of southwestern Sri Lanka has been occupied by the earliest anatomically modern humans in South Asia, dating from the late Pleistocene to the middle Holocene. The pollen evidence from the samples associated with the early Holocene human skeleton from this site has been used to assess the burial context and palynological taphonomy. Pollen data analysis indicates that high taphonomic impact occurred on the pollen grains in the depositional context, possibly due to reworking, burning, mechanical pressure and other possible human and animal activities. Furthermore, the pollen assemblage appears to have been primarily derived from the lowland rainforest, including disturbed habitats. Along with archaeological stratigraphy and radiometric dating, the pollen assemblage can be used to make broad inferences on the burial contexts and environment of the rock shelter occupants, while discussing the significance of forensic palynology in the Fa Hien archaeological context.</p> 2022-11-25T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Ratnasiri Premathilake, T.S. Erandathee Kumari Megalithic Cemeteries and Land Use in the Yān Oya River Basin of Sri Lanka 2022-11-11T14:55:34-07:00 Ranjith Bandara Dissanayake <p>Megalithism is a cultural phenomenon associated with mortuary rituals. Societies that practise megalithism construct burials and memorials using stone slabs in memory of the dead as a form of ancestor worship. Archaeological evidence shows that the remains of these cultural practices that originated during the Neolithic period, occur in various geographical zones around the globe. Across peninsular southern India and Sri Lanka megalithism is observed, reflecting the cultural identity of Early Protohistoric-Iron Age communities of South Asia and practised even today, in certain parts of India. In Sri Lanka, the Yān Oya macro region of the North Central Dry plains is a geographical region where megalithism is prevalent and visible on the landscape. Megalithic groups appear to have widely dispersed across the Yān Oya river basin from the early quarter of the 1st millennium BCE to the early quarter of the 1st millennium CE with their adaptive strategy contributing to the formation of the cultural landscape of the region. In this paper, the megalithic cultural complex in the Yān Oya macroregion is discussed using evidence from archaeological surveys and excavations, with a focus on territorial expansion, resource exploitation and land use pattern. Archaeological evidence points to a series of three patterns or phases where the megalithic community in the region developed from a nomadic or semi nomadic pastoral subsistence to a sedentary village based agro-pastoral subsistence.</p> 2022-12-01T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Ranjith Bandara Dissanayake Venison for the Citadel 2022-11-18T10:56:18-07:00 Norbert Benecke Johannes Moser Hans-Joachim Weisshaar <p>Tissamaharāma known from historic times as Mahagama is one of the earliest and largest urbanised centres in Sri Lanka, dating from the Early Historic period. As part of the collaborative research programme between the Department of Archaeology of the Government of Sri Lanka and the Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK) of the German Archaeological Institute, excavations were conducted at Tissamaharāma from 1992 to 2010. These extensive excavations at the Tissamaharāma citadel have yielded a very large quantity of excellently preserved faunal remains from the Early Historic Period of ca. 500 BCE to 250 BCE. The analysis of these animal bones indicates the presence of a significant component of large mammals notably, deer (<em>Axis axis).</em> Of considerable importance is the rib of a deer with an embedded broken quartz arrowhead, from the microlithic tradition. The deer represented in this sample was presumably part of the supply of venison to the city dwellers, brought from outside. Our data show that microlithic technology had persisted to at least the Early Historic phase in Sri Lanka. </p> 2022-12-03T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Norbert Benecke, Johannes Moser, Hans-Joachim Weisshaar An Evidence-Based Anthropological Exploration of Lanka's People 2022-09-14T10:25:52-06:00 Samanti Kulatilake <p>Sri Lanka’s rich palaeoanthropological and archaeological record as well as the present demographic aspects have much to offer in aiding our understanding of the island’s ancient past and recent population structure. Sri Lanka has yielded skeletal evidence for the earliest anatomically modern humans from South Asia indicating very early settlement of the region. Following early hunter-gatherer dispersals over 50,000 years ago, agricultural populations expanded to the region with historic settlements and urbanisation creating complex societies in the last three millennia. Through circum-Indian Ocean trade networks in historic times and colonial expansion in the last 500 years, population diversification has continued with groups of multiple genetic and ethno-linguistic backgrounds arriving and settling in the island. These early and later migrants share a gene pool that connects them to descendants of today, who form Sri Lanka’s multi-ethnic, multicultural, and multi-religious society. Using an anthropological perspective, this article investigates how complex societal and biological diversity would have developed over time in island Lanka. An appreciation of deep time, beyond historic records, helps us recognize that human evolution and diversification has been shaped over thousands of years, while an evidence-based, scientific approach is proposed to eliminate flawed ethnocentric interpretations.</p> 2022-12-06T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Samanti Kulatilake Maritime Trade Pattern and Early Urbanism in the Jaffna Peninsula of Northern Sri Lanka 2022-11-18T10:41:28-07:00 Prishanta Gunawardhana <p>Sri Lanka has played a key role in maritime trade on a global scale since Early Historic times to the colonial period. Archaeological evidence from harbors and ports of the Jaffna peninsula in northern Sri Lanka indicate very early trade connections with China to the east, Rome and Arabia to the west, and with India to the north. Ceramics and other artifacts associated with diverse cultures discovered from excavations and surveys in the Jaffna peninsula show that Jaffna has played a prominent role in Indian Ocean trade. Early urbanism and the emergence of trade related settlements in the Jaffna peninsula with the city of Kantharodai as a focal point had begun in the 6th century BCE. International trade and commerce of the Indian Ocean region had a direct impact on the development of urbanism in Kantharodai in the Jaffna peninsula, while the ports and trade network in the hinterland provide useful insights into the nature of economic activities and urbanism in the region. Finds from several key ports in the Jaffna peninsula and particularly the port on the island of Kayts indicate international trade. The city of Kantharodai as a focus for change, the city as the focus of power and domination, and the city as an organizing principle or creator of efficient space use are aspects explored in this paper.</p> 2022-12-07T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Prishanta Gunawardhana The Evolution of Microliths at Batadomba-lena, Sri Lanka 2022-11-18T10:34:44-07:00 H. Nimal Perera Peter Hiscock <p>Unresolved questions about the nature and coherence of microlithic production in Sri Lanka underlay many discussions about the microlith tradition in this region as well as the origins of those technologies and norms. Previous studies have not examined whether there were changes over time in the form of the microliths themselves, and in this paper, we conduct a geometric morphometric (GM) assessment of the shape differences over time at the Batadomba-lena site in the Wet Zone of Sri Lanka, excavated by Deraniyagala and Perera. We show that there were complex shifts in microlith shapes, with diversification of forms over time. This finding challenges conventional typological depictions of sameness within microliths and introduces a new approach to studying the evolution of microlith form.</p> 2022-12-08T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2022 H. Nimal Perera, Peter Hiscock