The Department of History and Archeology of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura launched another international level excavation at the Rajagala site from the 21st of May 2018 to the 2nd of June 2018. The excavation was commenced once again in Rajagala upon the success of the joint excavation project with the Department of Archaeology Sri Lanka in 2016.
The newly begun excavation will be done at the “Maha Lena” (Great Cave) located within the Rajagala temple premises. The following delegation has visited Sri Lanka from India to assist in the project:
- Prof. Vasant Shinde, Vice-chancellor, Deccan College
- Mrs. Shinde, Deccan College
- Dr. Srikant Ganvir, Deccan College
- Dr. Nilesh Jadhav, Deccan College
- Dr. Parth Randeer Chauhaan, Deccan College
- Mr. Harsh Tomar, University of Delhi
- Prof. Vinay Rao, University of Haryana
- Prof. Ajmal Shah, University of Kashmir
- Prof. Hemant Dalvi, University of Bangalore
Before leaving for the excavation the delegation visited the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. The university organized an event on the 20th of May 2018 to welcome these delegates. The event was graced by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Prof, Sampath Amaratunge, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prof. D.P.S. Chandrakumara, Director in charge of current AFCP Project, Director Conservation and Maintenance, Rajagala Archaeological Project and Dean, Faculty of Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Priof.P. B. Mandawala, Advisor and Coordinator, Spiritual and Ethical Development Centre, Rajagala Archaeological project, Dabara Amilathero, Coordinator, Consultant Director Rajagala projectand Head of the Department, Department of History and Archeology, Prof. Alexander Kapukotuwa, Coordinator, Consultant DirectorRajagala project, Prof. Pathmasiri Kannangara, Consultant Director of Excavation, Rajagala Archeological Project, Prof. Karunasena Hettiarachchi Previous Director General, Central Cultural fund and Senior Professor of Postgraduate Institute of Archeology, Snr. Prof. Gamini Adikari,
The excavation team includes Representatives from the Department of Archeology Sri Lanka, a team from University of Sri Jayewardenepura which included: Senior Lecturer, Dr. Gamini Ranasinghe, Lecturer, M. D. K Aberatne, Lecturer, Kaushalya Abenayake Temporary Assistant Lecturer, P.K. Vidanapathirana, and students of the Department of History and Archeology and the delegates from India.
Prof. Sampath Amaratunge in his welcome address spoke about how the Department of History and Archeology first came to be in the University system of Sri Lanka. He stated that the Department was first initiated under the guidance of the Most Venerable Welivitiye Sri Sorathathero.
“University of Sri Jayewardenepura was the first university in the world to obtain the honor of providing a first degree in Archeology. The most Venerable Welivitye Sri Soratha Thero took this step because he foresaw the potential in this field,” Prof. Amaratunge said.
The Vice-Chancellor of Deccan University, Prof. Vasant Shinde in his speech, stated that the Rajagala temple premises are a location which brings together both cultural and natural heritage, and thereby worthy to be recognized as one of the world heritages through UNESCO.
Second Session of the Rajagala Project and its Results
The second session of the Rajagala excavation project commenced on the 21st of May 2018 in accordance to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and Deccan College, India. The excavation project which comes to an end on the 2nd of June 2018 has been a remarkable success. The delegates from Deccan University together with the Department of History and Archaeology have made notable discoveries.
The Head of the Department, Department of History and Archaeology, Prof. Alexander Kapukotuwa stated that this is the first prehistoric excavation held in the Ampara district.
“We are expecting to fill a gap in the recorded data of prehistory. The research that has been launched is expected to expand to two years” he said.
Two thousand eight hundred and twenty-three stone fragments, hundred and fifty-one stone tools, two glass beads, two clay objects, two copper plates, three human teeth, thirteen animal teeth, two bone tools, remains of flora, Monsoon seeds and Kakuna seeds of the prehistoric era known as the Mesolithic era of Sri Lanka have been found so far.
Prof. Kapukatuwa states that the exact dates of the findings have not been confirmed yet and that they are currently conducting research with relevant specialists to determine further details with regard to the findings.