This Division was established in 1968 in order to conduct research on the whole of Sri Lanka's archaeological heritage.

The role of the Excavation Division can be briefly classified as follows;
Research Excavations

    - Prehistoric
        Prehistoric Research Excavations
        Early Historical Period
    - Historic
    - Rescue or urgent excavations
    (Eg: excavations carried out after evaluating damages to archaeological objects)
    - Excavations carried out on behalf of special national needs (Excavation of monuments)
    (Excavations carried out prior to conservation of Sacred sites such as stupas)

Post Excavation Analyses

    - Analysis of excavated material.
    - Writing reports
    - Compilation of archival reports
    - Storage
    - On completion of the excavation report, storage of all excavated material and handing them over to the Museum Division for research and exhibition work.
History of Excavations in Sri Lanka

The first methodical excavation of the Department of Archaeology had been carried out by Mr. S.M. Burrows in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa during 1884 to 1886. Subsequently, the exploration and excavation activities were undertaken mainly in Anuradhapura and Sigiriya with the guidance of Mr. H.C.P. Bell in 1890. Similarly archaeological excavations in Anuradhapura and other areas of the island were carried out under the supervision of Mr. E.M. Ayrton (1912-1914) and Mr. Raja De Silva (1983)

Mr. E.M. Hocart who was appointed as the Commissioner of Archaeology in Sri Lanka in 1926, carried out excavations using the method of stratification, in places such as Mathota, Pomparippu, Anuradhapura inner city and Ambalantota.

Connect with us

Department of Archaeology
Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha,
Colombo - 07,
Sri Lanka.
Phone : +94 11 2692840, +94 11 2692841
Fax : +94 11 2696250
Email : info@archaeology.gov.lk

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