Prehistoric sites

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<ul><li> 1. Extracted from : God-apes and fossil menBy Kenneth A. R. KennedyCreated : March 22, 2009Updated : March 22, 2009 Among the cave sites with particularly interesting archaeological contents is Alu Lena ( Alu Galge) at Attanagoda near Kegalle. The Galge or the rock shelter derives its name from the presence of ashes (alu) across the 5 x 3 m floor, a testimony to historic occupation of the site by game poachers. Beneath this recent accumulation are several layered deposits of travertine of which the uppermost contains lithic and skeletal materials. A number of faunal and human specimens have been found covered with a calcium encrustation that is due to their exposure to water falling from the drip ledge of the shelter. The outlier, of which the rock shelter is a part, is weathered into deep cavities that retain water well into the dry season, perhaps a critical factor in ancient human occupation. An archaeological party under the direction of P. E. P. Deraniyagala that visited the site in 1954 discovered lithic and skeletal materials in a single test pit. The team found a poorly preserved human skeleton laid off its left side in a flexed position, facing east and covered with stones. In direct association with the human bones were found shells of Acavus superbus, Cyclopgorus, Autopoma, and two species of paludomus. Snail and mollusk shells of these genera were found elsewhere on the cave floor along with a few specimens of Pila. Of the reptiles, Lissemys, Testudo, and Varanus were identified. Other bones were identified as deer, monkey, buffalo, porcupine, and squirrel, all species existing on the island today. Fragments of chert and quartz were scattered throughout the site, but the only obvious stone tools are the unpitted pebbles of which three have ground surfaces. Deraniyagala suggested that some of the bones, teeth, and antler fragments had been shaped as tools. </li> <li> 2. A human skeleton, estimated to be at least 7000 years old,several other pre-historic stone tools including animal remainshave been unearthed from the Godawaya archeological site inAmbalantota.Archaeologist, W.K. Sanath said a team of archaeologistsinitiated research after discovering the tools made of graniteand quartz used by the pre-historic man from the abandonedquarry. They removed the skeleton for laboratory tests. </li> <li> 3. Anatomically modern, prehistoric human remainsfound in Sri Lanka are commonly referred to asBalangoda Man. The term seems to have derivedfrom his being responsible for the MesolithicBalangoda Culture which was first defined in sitesnear Balangoda.According to scientists he stood at an estimatedheight of 174 cm for males and 166 cm for females.The bones are robust, with thick skull-bones,prominent brow-ridges, depressed noses, heavy jawsand short necks. The teeth are conspicuously large. </li> <li> 4. This Huge Cave has been home to the prehistoric BalangodaMan (Homo sapiens balangodensis) where 16,000 year oldskeletal remains have been found. Fa Hien-lena has yieldedthe earliest evidence (at ca. 37,000 BP) of the BalangodaMan followed by Batadomba-lena at 31,000 and 18,000 BP.These caves have also yeiled other artifacts such asprehistoric tools belonging to the 30,000 BP. Batadomba-lena caves have yeiled tools going back to 31,000 BP. Theseare important findings to whole of Asia as these tools areconsidered to have first originated in Europe around 12,000BP. But these finding have proved that the Sri LankanBalangoda Man has been at the same stage oddeveopment 19 ,000 years before the Europeans. </li> <li> 5. Archaeologists firmly believe that excavation surveys conductedat the Dorawaka Rock caves at Warakapola reveal informationof the Mesolithic Era, the third phase of the Stone Age.According to them, the caves at Dorawakkanda and Uragalanear Warakapola in the Kegalle District have yielded some ofthe most sensational archaeological findings in recent times,among them Brahmi inscriptions, a communication modewithin suggest and attributes a different language pre-datingthe arrival of Vijaya.Brahmi lettering is typically found in rock inscriptions in stonecaves. The roots of this science is said to have originated inIndia. </li> <li> 6. Ibbankatuwa Ancient burial ground lies few kilometres before theDambulla town on the Kurunegala-Dambulla Road. Anarcheological Department board will indicate the turn off from themain road. The site is reached by traveling about 500m in to thisroad.The area where the tombs have been found is about 15x15 metres.About 10 tombs have been unearthed and each tomb is separated byfour stone slabs and covered by another slab on the top. This EarlyIron Age burial ground has been dated to 750 BC to 400 BC.Excavations have revealed that each tomb containing personalbelonging such as clay pots, beads, necklaces, etc, similar to thepractices in ancient Egypt pyramids. The gemstones found in somenecklaces are only found in India indicating links to India during thistime. </li> <li> 7. Pahiyangala caves lies in Yatagampitiya, which is aremote village about 5 km away from Bulathsinhala(40Km along Piliyandala-Horana road), in the KalutaraDistrict. Excavation has proved that these caves wereinhabited by prehistoric cave men some 37,000 yearsago. This cave is supposed to be the largest natural rockin Asia and this is also known to be the most ancientpre-historic human settlement in Asia. </li> <li> 8. The cave lies 400 feet above sea level, At its entrance, the cave is 175feet high and over 200 feet long. It is believed that 3000 people can beeasily accommodated in this cave. The natural tunnels running insidethe caves are now blocked and is not accessible. The cave has beendivided into four sections of which the left side cave is the largest andis the centre of it. There is a deep pit dug out by the ArchaeologicalDepartment for an excavation. In is in this pit that archeologists foundfive human skulls which were identified as 37,000 years old by carbondating in USA. Some weapons made of stone and animal bones werealso recovered during the excavation. It has been found out that thesewere used to kill monkey, deer, porcupine and others. They have alsoconsumed acavus, a species of edible snail and wild breadfruit.Biologically, this cave dweller known as Pahiyangala Manawakaya(Pahiyangala Man) had a short vertebral structure, wide jaw bones , alarge palette and big grinding teeth. </li> <li> 9. The Pomparippu burial site has aroused considerable interest ever sinceits discovery by A.M. Hocart during the course of his survey of thePuttalam - Mannar coast in 1923 - 24. A number of urn burials wereexcavated by Raja De Silva in 1956 in the course of a detailedarchaeological survey undertaken by the Department of Archaeology.However, it were the excavations carried out in July and August 1970 byVimala Begley, Bennet Bronson and Mohamed Mauroof as part of aproject to study the pre-and proto-history of Sri Lanka undertaken bythe University of Pennsylvania that revealed much of this lost culture.According to Vimala Begley (Ancient Ceylon. 1981) indications are thatthe burial ground covered about 3-4 acres of land. She estimates thatthe site may contain about 8000 or so burials containing the remains of10,000 - 12,000 people. </li> <li> 10. Kantharodai has a monument of the TamilBuddhist civilization in Jaffna one time. It islocated about 10km north of Jaffna town, and2km west of Chunnakam. It has a cluster oftwenty miniature dagobas, ranging in heightfrom one to three meters. The dagobas haveno resemblance in architecture with otherBuddhist religious sites in Sri Lanka. It isbelieved that these are votive dagobas, andsome believe that these are the shrines of theTamil Buddhist monks. The site is reserved asan archeological site. </li> <li> 11. - Similar </li> </ul>