Ibbankatuwa Proto-Historic Megalithic Burial Site

10 January 2022 02:25 pm

Ibbankatuwa is located on the left bank of the Dambulu Oya. The Burial site is on the Colombo-Dambulla main road, with  quite a prominent board on the side of the main road, announcing the site. Its hard to miss ! This is an ancient burial site and is considered as one of the oldest burial sites in the country. 

The proto-historic period is also known as the Iron Age.  This  time period  is very important in the cycle of human evolution, since it underwent massive changes due to the introduction  of the use of fired clay utensils made on the potter’s wheel , metal implements and the introduction of proper agriculture  back date the human livelihood. It is reported that the burial site here is over 2700 years old ! Even before the Buddha was born…..

The site had been identified as far back as 1970 by the Dept . of Archeology and since then, quite a few excavations had been done to unearth the history that was lying under the layers of soil. Radiocarbon dating of the remains had shown that the tombs date back to 600 BC. What had once been the backyard of a house some years ago, has become one of the most important historical sites for the study of our forefathers  and their beliefs.  The tombs are spread over an area of 13 hectares and there are 10 tombs. Each tomb is enclosed with four stone slabs with another capstone on top to cover. The remains of the dead have been identified as belonging to  two distinct burial customs. Cist  – where the ashes of the deceased were interred Urn  – where bodies were placed in urns and interred Along with the multiple urns, goods used by the deceased have been found in large terra-cotta urns and cists, similar to Egyptian burial customs. 

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