Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
Articles Information
Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol.1, No.4, Sep. 2015, Pub. Date: Jul. 4, 2015
Utility of Inselbergs and Boulders as Rock-Shelter Monasteries: A Geoarchaeological Study of Sigiriya and Its Environs
Pages: 354-360 Views: 1882 Downloads: 619
Authors
[01] Jinadasa Katupotha, Department of Geography, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka.
[02] Kusumsiri Kodituwakku, Sigiriya Museum, Central Cultural Funds, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka.
Abstract
Inselbergs and other rock outcrops such as erratic boulders, granitic tors and corestones formed natural rock-shelters, and are important in archaeological studies. These rock-shelters extensively used to prevent weather afflictions, and later converted as living places by prehistoric man and the members of different faiths in the historical period. They left behind debris, tools and other artifacts, which mark the footsteps of the civilization of humankind. By 5,000 yr BP civilized Yakka, Naga and Deva natives who lived as natives in Sri Lanka have built separate sequestered settlements, and used rock shelters. Large numbers of such natural rock shelters are found in Sigiriya and its environs. The natives, who used these rock shelters consecrated them to Buddhist monks. These were widely used as monasteries during the Early Anuradhapura Period, especially between 2,300 yr BP and 1,800 yr BP. Field observations of seven locations in the area reveal that the architects selected big holes and fractures of the main rock outcrops or a shelter of a single boulder or clusters of boulders to construct comfortable monasteries. These age-old monasteries have geoarcheological values, which reveal our buried cultures.
Keywords
Rock-Shelters, Sigiriya and Its Environs, Natives, Buddhist Monasteries, Early Anuradhapura Period, Geoarchaeology
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