Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka) Project: The Hinterland (Phase II)
A research project of the Department of Archaeology.
The first phase of this project, excavations at Anuradhapura, has presented the development of the city from an Iron Age village into a mediaeval metropolis. Despite our understanding of this urban process, knowledge of the role played by communities within its hinterland is very poor. As a result, archaeologists and scientists from the Universities of Durham, Bradford, Bristol, Kelaniya, Leicester and Stirling developed a field and laboratory-based project to model pre-urban and urban networks within the plain in order to assess the impact of urbanisation on communities and their environments in the hinterland. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, we have completed two seasons of settlement survey, geophysical and geoarchaeological survey, auger coring, excavation and laboratory analysis. Provisional results suggest an absence of larger order settlements, contrasting with contemporary textual evidence, and we continue to investigate the possibility that the hinterland’s monasteries performed the administrative, economic and political functions usually associated with towns.
Coningham, R.A.E., Gunawardhana, P., Adikari, G., Kattugampola, M., Simpson, I. and Young R.L. (in press). The Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka) Project: the hinterland (phase II): preliminary report of the first season 2005. South Asian Studies.