|OLDEST HUMAN FOUND IN SRI LANKA|
Oldest human found in Lanka - Pathirajawela in the Deep South. A student from Bundala Central School recovered the oldest Lankan human’s remains and his stone tools in Pathirajawela near Ambalantota. This Lankan had lived 20,000 years before the Neanderthal inhabited the earth. It has been estimated, at an international average, that the population density for Lanka, at the time was 0.8-1.5 per Sq Km in dry zone and 0.1 in wet zone. They had lived in groups of 1-2 families, not in large groups due to scarcity of food. With this proof of pre-historic settlement in Lanka, Pathirajawela also exposed a flake and stone tool industry belonging to 125,000 to 75,000 BCE. This meant that the Lankans had already started their long journey towards civilisation.
Ratnapura - Lions, Rhinoceros and Hippos From an excavation in Ratnapura District, archaeologists have found the remains of animals. That included a hippopotamus with six incisor teeth, a rhinoceros, and a lion. Along with these animal remains, stone artefacts comprising, typically, large choppers and flakes of quartz and chert, have been found. However, apart from a human calotte from a gem pit near Ellawala, no human remains have been discovered yet from the Ratnapura.
2nd oldest human found in Lanka - Bundala in the deep South These people made tools of quartz (and a few on chert). Apart from such tools, no other remains had survived the ravages of time and tropical weathering.
Fa-Hien cave - 3rd oldest Lankan human found in the largest natural cave in South Asia Over 150 feet in height, 282 feet long, Pahiyangala can accommodate over 3000 humans. It was home to a large community.
Fa-Hien cave - 3rd oldest Lankan human proves world's oldest proof of consumption of rice, Kurahan, salt Female body-remains found near Bulathsinhala, proved the consumption of rice, kurahan, and salt. The Archaeologists named her Kalu-Menika. It was proof that 20,000 years before the world, Lankans have gone agricultural. It was also the first anatomically modern human found in whole of South Asia.
Batadomba Lena near Kuruwita - the Balangoda man, stronger and taller. These remains, and the following Beli-lena and Bellan Bendi Palassa, have been subjected to detailed analysis. These anatomically modern prehistoric humans in Sri Lanka are referred to as Balangoda Man. Some males were 174 cm tall, and some females were 166 cm tall. This is considerably taller than the present-day Sri Lankans. The bones also are robust. They had thick skull-bones and prominent brow-ridges, depressed noses, heavy jaws and short necks. The teeth were conspicuously large. These traits have survived among the Veddas and certain unmixed Sinhalese. Balangoda Man's features are regarded as the typical original Lankan features.
Lankans live in Mannar, Horton plains to Bundala, in two family units. By this time Lankans were settled in every corner of Sri Lanka, from the damp and cold High Plain's such as Maha-Eliya (Horton Plains) to the arid lowlands of Mannar and Wilpattu, to the steamy rainforests of Sabaragamuwa. Their camps were small, rarely exceeding 50 square miles in area, thus suggesting occupation by not more than a couple of families at most. This life-style could not have been too different from that described for the Veddas of Sri Lanka, the Kadar, Malapantaram and Chenchus of India, the Andaman lslanders and the Semang of Malaysia. They had been moving from place to place annually looking for food.
Lankans have started business between the coast and the hills. Beads of shells have also been discovered deep inside the country. Discovery of marine shells in inland sites such as Batadomba-lena, points to an extensive network of contacts between the coast and the inland.
Lankans had burial customs. Balangoda Man had a custom to bury his dead underneath his camp floor. He selected certain bones for this purpose. At Ravana Ella cave and Fa Hien Lena, red ochre had been ceremonially smeared on the bones.
Geometric microliths (believed to be first used by the Europeans in 12,500 BCE) are found in Batadomba Lena in the tool kit of Balangoda Man, 16,000 years earlier than Europeans first used it. The tool kit of Balangoda Man is distinguished by the occurrence of geometric microliths, comprising small (less than 4 cm long) flakes of quartz and (rarely) chert fashioned into stylised lunette, triangular.
Beli-Lena at Kitulgala There is evidence from Beli-lena that salt had been brought in from the coast at a date in excess of 27,000 BCE.
Horton plains - Agro subsistence strategy 7000 years before the world did. There is pollen evidence from the Horton Plains for herding and the farming of barley and oats by 15,000 BCE and also around 8,000 BCE. The new evidence from the Horton Plains is of great importance. Ghar-i-Mar and Aq Kupruk in Afghanistan and Mehrgarh in Pakistan were known to have had a Neolithic subsistence strategy by 7,000-6,000 BCE. There is tentative evidence of herding in northern Rajasthan by 7,000 BCE, of rice and pottery at Koldihwa, U.P. in India by 5,000 BCE, and perhaps cereal management/farming in the Nilgiri Hills of South India by 8,000 BCE. Therefore Lankans had proof of Agro subsistence strategy 7000 years before the world did.
Suriya Kanda near Embilipitiya - use of necklaces and needles; the female body parts recovered by archaeologists proved the use of needles (made of rabbit bones), and necklace made of a see-thru material like glass but as hardy as plastic. The Archaeologists have named her Nimali.
Maduru Oya is the World's oldest findings of the use of Steel, Copper, and irrigation technology.
Alu-lena near Attanagoda, Kegalle More human remains were discovered here.
Bellan-Bendi Palassa near Embilipitiya: Secret of the Strong Bones Bellan-Bandi Palassa near Embilipitiya is an open-air site of human remains. The well-preserved evidence from these caves showed that Lankans were having a very wide range of food-plants and animals. Prominent among them were nuts, wild breadfruit and wild bananas. It also showed that Lankans ate almost any type animal, from elephants to snakes, rats, snails and small fish. This well-balanced diet must be the secret behind the robust physic of the human skeletal remains. The degeneration of the bone, caused by a specialised starchy diet and a sedentary life style, was yet to come.
Dorawaka-Kanda cave near Kegalle: Geometric Microlithic industry and pottery. The transition from the Mesolithic Balangoda Culture to the protohistoric early Iron Age has not been adequately documented in Sri Lanka. The relevant deposits have been destroyed due to the extraction of fertiliser from prehistoric cave habitations. Recent excavations in the cave of Dorawaka-kanda near Kegalle could resolve this problem. According to the excavator, W.H. Wijayapala, there are indications at this site of pottery (together with stone stools) being used as early as 6300. By this time, Dorawaka-lena shelter had proved a geometric Microlithic industry. It also proved a cereal and a crude red pottery by 5,300 BCE, and Black and Red Ware by 3,100 BCE.
Lankan city on Mahamevuna Uyana - Archaeologists uncovered 35 feet under the present Mahamevuna Uyana in Anuradhapura, the remains of a huge city dated to 9000-6000 BCE in 2001 AD. It was proof that Lankans had used Horses before the advent of prince Vijaya in 483 BCE.
Pallemala site - First proof of a pre-historic shell midden in the country, fireplace, grinding stone, burial room, Rough clothing. A group of pre-historic Lankans set up camp at a dried-up lagoon in Hambantota. There they lived, hunted and fished for food and buried the dead.
Pallemala site - indicates the origins of Mahasona beliefs. The discovery in the burial floor, of the skull of a wild boar with its tusks intact, next to a human skull suggested some kind of a burial ritual. In Sinhalese folk traditions, Mahasona has been depicted as having the head of a boar. Veddas still have this practice as the ‘Kirikoraha’ ceremony, using the head of a boar, and offering tribute to Kande Yaka, the Veddas god of hunting.
Similarity of Pallemala man with the rest of the world: Lankan is in the forefront of the human development. The lifestyles of the Stone Age Lankan could not have been any different from others who lived elsewhere in the world. There are striking similarities in the stone tools found anywhere in the world belonging to the same age. Burial practices too appear to have similarities. The human bodies found in Pallemala have been buried in a curious folded position where the knees and elbows had been folded towards the body in burial. Similar burials in 'folded' position have been unearthed from sites elsewhere in the world as well. This proved that the Lankan was in the very front of the race for the human progress. There has been frequent migration between the landmass that was Sri Lanka at the time and the Indian continent, across the Palk Strait. That probably helped the Lankan to check what the other humans were doing.
A pre-historic grave Archaeologists had found a pre-historic gravesite near Ibbankatuva Weva in Dambulla.
Towns develop into large settlements. By this time, communities have become agricultural and metal has been discovered. As the number of people increased, towns were getting populated fast.
The boat that could carry over 150 passengers, is found in Lanka on Attanagalla Oya. This proved the existence of a well-established water-based transport system in Sri Lanka. That showed the advance state of the Hela civilisation of the time.
Sigiriya is considered the Alakamanda of the Ravana times Historians and Archaeologists claim that Sigiriya must be the great fortress mansion Alakamanda of Ravana, based on oldest archaeological evidence found on site.
Rama-Ravana Story is analysed by Western Historians Ravana was known to be a Brahmin. Ravana was a great chanter of the Sama Veda, and a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Ravana was well versed in Sanskrit and the composer of the famous Shiva Tandava Stotra. His native tongue does not appear to have been Dravidian. This rejects the recent tendency of South Indian politicians to look up to Ravana as a Dravidian hero.
Western Historians claim Ravana as Sri Lankan Western Historians reject the claim that Ravana was a Dravidian: Sri Lankan Buddhists traditionally held Ravana in respect, perhaps knowing he was one of their own ancestors. The famous Buddhist Sutra, the Lankavatara, looks to Sri Lanka as a holy land and the Sutra is given in honour of Ravana himself, who is styled as the king of the Yakshas. Even a close study of the Ramayanaya, particularly the last book or Uttara Kanda, reveals that Ravana was not a Dravidian, but related to the Sri Lankans, who are considered to be Aryans.
Western Historians claim Hanuma as Dravidian as Dravidians are regarded as the descendants from this second son of King Yayati, the Dravidians have been identified by Western Historians as Rama's companions like Hanuman. The region of Kishkindha (Karnataka), at the time of Rama, was under the domination of Ravana, though his alliance with their king Bali. Hanuman, who was Rama's best devotee, better, represents the ancient Dravidians (who incidentally were also Aryans, in that they have always been portrayed in Vedic and Puranic literature as descendants of Vedic people). Unfortunately various groups have tried to use the Ramayana for political gain without ever really examining the details of the story. Before Rama, the Yadus and Daityas had long before migrated to Sri Lanka.
Ravana gets killed in Balangoda during March, 2517BCE Ravana, while attending to the wounds suffered in combat by Vibishana (his brother) in Balangoda, was killed under a rain of poison arrowhead attack ordered by Rama. Rama was said to have obtained that weapon system from Vibishana when they were in friendly terms. Then Rama burnt down the City of Lankapura.
Sri Lanka has the latest technology: Iron technology is evident in Sri Lanka. This is another classic example to prove that the Sri Lankans were in par with the rest of the developed world at this time. There is solid archaeological proof to show that Sri Lankans had their own Steel factories by this time. Imagine having the latest technology of the day.
Farming, long-distance trade is evident in Lanka. Along with the iron technology, the evidence exists of organised large scale farming and long-distant trade with foreign countries by this time.
An Alphabet is used in Lanka Evidence was discovered by the Archaeologists that, the Lankans used an Alphabet by 900BCE
Anuradhapura, a major town of, at least 10 Hectares (25 Acres). Anuradhapura was at least 10 ha in extent by ca. 900 BCE (perhaps much more). By then prehistoric stone tool technology had been completely superseded by that of iron. Other advanced features were the manufacture of copper-alloy artefacts, high-quality pottery (notably Black and Red Ware), the breeding of cattle and horses, and the cultivation of rice.
After 4500 BCE a new man, different to Balangoda Man, has appeared in Lanka. They are believed to be Phoenicians, Persians, and Greeks, South Indians & North Indian Aryan merchants who came for overseas trade. The biological anthropology of Early Iron Age man in Sri Lanka is distinct from that of Balangoda Man. This could have occurred considerably prior to 500 BCE (and after Bellan-Bandi Palassa at 4500 BCE). What attracted these people who intruded on the scene is probably the agricultural potential of Sri Lanka, notably its abundant supplies of water, with iron technology to subjugate the dense equatorial rainforest and heavy soils. Other attractions could have been the pearl banks in the northwest of the Island, the major copper ore source at Seruwila, and the Island's location as an entrepot for long-distance trade between Southeast Asia and West Asia (note that black pepper in pharaonic Egypt of the 2nd millennium BCE could only have come from Kerala, Sri Lanka or Southeast Asia). King Solomon had Sri Lankan products in his palace. Thereafter, Sri Lanka's attraction for settlers from further afield than South India appears to have gained rapidly. This swell coincided with the so-called Second Urbanisation of the Indo-Gangetic Plain.
Anuradhapura Town, 50 Hectares (125 Acres) Anuradhapura towns was at least 50 hectares by 700-600 BCE. By then prehistoric stone tool technology had been completely replaced by that of iron. Other advanced traits were the manufacture of copper-alloy artefacts, high-quality pottery (notably Black and Red Ware), the breeding of cattle and horses, and the cultivation of rice. By 500 BCE, Anuradhapura exceeded 50 ha as it developed into a city.
Anuradhapura, a major town in Lanka Spread over 59 hectares (59 * 2.5 Acres), it was home to people who used horses, cattle, and made pottery, paddy cultivation and who were masters of the iron technology.
Earliest Proof of writing in Lanka at 600-500 BCE, the first appearance of writing (in Brahmi letters almost identical to the Ashokan script 200 years later) marked the beginning of the Early Historic period. This writing, radiocarbon dated on charcoal and checked by thermo luminescence dating, is inscribed on potsherds signifying the ownership. Among the names was Anuradha.
Lanka is known as Sivu-Hela (Simhala) Lankans are divided politically into 4 main tribes, namely Yaksha (from Mutiyanganaya), Naga, and Deva, Raksha tribes, thus known as Sivu-Hela. Foreigners pronounced it as SIMHALA.
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