Friday, September 10, 2010

preserving our artifacts

Kuttam Pokuna(Before)
We are sure that you may have visited at least some of the archaeological sites in Sri Lanka. Most people have been to at least the more well-known places.

Kuttam Pokuna (After)
Have you ever been to places full of rubble? That may have been after these places were cleaned, tidied and restored by the Department of  Archaeology. 

This Department has taken a lot of trouble to restore many valuable sites in Sri Lanka, and by observing these places and the work they have carried out, we can get an idea of what these places would have looked like in the past. Have you ever thought how such a place may have looked when it was first discovered?

Girihandu Seya,Thiriyaya (Before)
Exploration Officer, Department of Archaeology, T.M.C. Bandara explained to the Junior Observer the service the Department has carried out to conserve our historical places and bring back a semblance of their original glory.

Girihandu Seya,Thiriyaya (After)
"These sites do not belong to the Department of Archaeology, they belong to the people living around them. 

We are just guardians who look after and care for them, for the benefit of future generations", Bandara said.
Most Sri Lankans are not aware of the important role of the Archaeology Department, and about the work it has carried out throughout the years. 

Haththicuchi Viharaya (Before)

Haththicuchi Viharaya (After)
According to Bandara, Sri Lanka has had a museum about 2,000 years ago, which has led archaeologists to believe that the island would have been the first country to have the concept of museums.
In this museum, the king of the day had preserved parts of the ship in which Sanghamitta Theri had arrived.
During the British rule, John Still, in his famous book 'Jungle Tide', had written: "There are artifacts in Polonnaruwa in a place full of tigers and bears. Because of the forest around, I missed my way everyday".

Polonnaruwa Vatadage (After)
Now, we realise what the fate of our precious artifacts would have been.

Facts and pix courtesy: Department of Archeology, Sri Lanka


  1. I think the old pictures were taken from "Architectural Remains, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by James G Smither, F.R.I.B.A" Its one of my priced possessions, unfortunately too big to be carried halfway around the world. I feel that The observer should have mentioned this, since it is a valuable record of how these wonders were almost more than a century earlier (1866-1883)

  2. These pictures were given by the Department of Archeology in Sri Lanka.