Sri Lanka – Prehistoric Megalith monuments found in Sri Lanka

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Location: Colombo- Sri Lanka

Language: Sinhala

Duration: 00:05:20

Source: A24 

Restrictions: A24 Subscribers

Dateline: 04-05-2022

Storyline:

An exciting discovery of 15 Iron Age Megalith monuments has been unearthed in Sri Lanka, an island country in South Asia.

The discovery, dating back about 2500 years, came to light in the Kithulkote area of Thanamalwila village, southeast of the capital, Colombo.

The monuments were found after a school student made the discovery and informed the Kithulkote school’s history teacher, who said the discovery uncovered evidence of a pre-historic largest Megalithic cemetery in the area.

The teacher added that the finds give us a vital glimpse into what life would have been like in the Iron Age.

Director-General of Archeology Senior Prof. Anura Manathunga commended the discovery of Megalith Monuments as a milestone for archaeologists who study the Prehistoric Age. 

Ramli Raban, a student of the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management and a licensed Senior Tourist guide, said Sri Lanka has one of the oldest Hominid settlements in all of Asia.

A megalith is a large stone that has been used to construct a prehistoric structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones

Shots list:

– (Soundbite) Ramli Raban – The Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (SLITHM & a licenced Senior Tourist guide):

“When it comes to Hominid settlements, Sri Lanka has one of the oldest settlements in all of Asia. which dates back somewhere around 250 thousand years. the Hominid species knows an ‘Homeophithicas Sinhalayos’ is from Sri Lanka. Eventhough, a lot of people know the history that was of the written record which was 2500 years that lot of people know, there is a rich history that came before that as well. For example thers is a Pre-historic Megalithic burrial site known as ‘Ibbankatuwa’ in Dambulla. If you go and look at the site, you can see like structures made using just rock slabs. And within these rock slabs you can see earthenware earns that had the ashes of the people who were entoumbed within them, and these earns were knows as ‘Barami’. And these ‘Barami’ were used and they were made using the pottery-wheels, so it is apparan during that time the civilisation was not premitive.”  

– (Soundbite)  the Kithulkote school’s history teacher who was informed at first by the student who found these ancient monuments):

“We are here in Wellawaya, Kitulkote, Thanamalwila area. We have now come to one of the most unique historical sites in the Kitulkotte area. We have now come to find a prehistoric cemetery in Kitulkote area. This is the largest megalithic cemetery found in the Moneragala district as identified at present. Megalithic is the Great Stone Cemetery era. So, now we come to a cemetery that belongs to the Great Stone Cemetery traditional era. The history of Sri Lanka can be divided into pre-historic (Stone Age), prehistoric (Iron Age) and historical eras. Here the prehistoric age is the Stone Age and the prehistoric age is the Iron Age. And there is a specialty in this Iron Age man’s human activity, or his way of life, in our prehistoric burial complex where we are standing now.”

– (Soundbite) the Kithulkote school’s history teacher who was informed at first by the student who found these ancient monuments):

“The old custom of the time was to cremate the body, bury it in an ashtray and then bury it in a tomb or entomb them. It is buried in this kind of cemetery. Four square stones are placed in the middle of the pot and covered with a large stone lid. This is what we find in prehistoric burial rites. Back then, such places were still found in many parts of Sri Lanka. We have found objects belonging to this burial tradition especially in areas such as Ibbankatuwa, Yatigalpotta, Yapahuwa Stone Cemetery and Matara Bandattara. Also similar burial sites are found in Yan Oya, Kebithigollewa and Horowpathana. However, no such large scale cemetery has been found in the Moneragala District so far. As far as we know, this is a cemetery spread over an acre of land.”

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