A burial ground containing clay cist burials dating back 3000 years was discovered near Ananda Maha Vidayala in Dewalapola, Western Province, Sri Lanka.
The site was excavated by a team of archaeologists from Kelaniya University. The researchers have discovered two large prehistoric clay cist burials. They were created by digging a hole, smearing clay inside and hardening the clay by burning. Then the cremated corpses, stored in clay pots, were inserted into such graves. The cists were sealed by putting round clay lumps onto it. Archaeologists uncovered four clay pots and a layer of ash in one of the cists. The pottery was made using potter’s wheel and by hand. Clay potsherds, clay lumps and soil were extracted and are to be sent to the United States for carbon-dating for confirmation of the estimated age the burials.
The researchers state that there is little knowledge regarding social, economic and religious life of the prehistoric people living in Sri Lanka, but similar graves were already found on the island, including megalithic burial sites at Ibbankatuwa (BC 730 – 740) and Kokebe (BC 800), where the tombs consist of four metal slates sealing a clay urn within such chamber.
(after Daily Mirror)