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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Staff and Governance

Core Staff

The day-to-day running of IMEMS is the responsibility of the Core Executive Committee, comprising the Director and Associate Directors and the Administrator. 

Publication details for UNESCO Professor Robin Coningham

Coningham, R.A.E. (2006). Anuradhapura: The British - Sri Lankan Excavations at Anuradhapura Salgaha Watta: Volume 2 The Artefacts. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Author(s) from Durham


The site of Anuradhapura, NW Sri Lanka, is important, from two principal points of view. In the first place it has played a significant role in the history and cultural traditions of Sri Lanka as a whole. Secondly, Anuradhapura has a more immediate, specific importance from an archaeological point of view on account of the extent, depth and richness of the occupation deposits. This has been demonstrated by the research done there by archaeologists during the last century. This work has opened the way to achieving a better understanding of Early Historic Sri Lanka than was hitherto possible and provided an excellent basis for further investigation. Indeed, it is upon this basis that the investigations described here have been undertaken and have carried forward the study of this remarkable site, leading to a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of its long history and development. The investigations described here had the advantage of a number of modern techniques, including geophysical methods of surface survey, three-dimensional recording of levels and finds in excavation, and ample radiocarbon measurements. On account of the depth and continuity of the dated cultural sequence described in the two volumes that make up the report, each of which deals with specific aspects of the excavation as a whole, it is possible to relate Anuradhapura to a wider archaeological context. The present, second volume, The Artefacts, describes the artefacts and other finds and relates them to the dated sequence of archaeologically identified layers, thus clothing the dated structural framework with cultural material. An important discovery was that of a small number of short inscriptions on pottery and other objects in Brahmi script. The record provided by the Anuradhapura sequence makes it possible to look outward at its historic links and their implications. For example, it is now possible to study the city of Anuradhapura’s cultural and trading links with other parts of the ancient world. In sum, the excavations at Anuradhapura provide a wonderful database of evidence relating to the Iron Age and Early Historic periods of South Asia and from it we can study the stages of the emergence of a city and its subsequent growth. (Volume I, The Site, provides the archaeological framework and is firmly based on the carefully recorded cultural sequence, the longest and most fully recorded so far available in Sri Lanka, and indeed in the entire southern half of the Indian subcontinent.

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Our Full Executive Committee is made up of the Core Executive Committee, listed above, plus a number of executive members including:

International Advisory Board

We are extremely fortunate to have be able to call on the help and guidance of colleagues from around the world who help to shape and guide our direction, strategy and international reach. Our current Advisory Board members are: