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Durham University

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Publication details for UNESCO Professor Robin Coningham

Coningham, R.A.E., Gunawardhana, P., Manuel, M.J., Adikari, G., Katugampola, M., Young, R.L., Schmidt, A., Krishnan, K., Simpson, I., McDonnell, G. & Batt, C. (2007). The state of theocracy: defining an Early Medieval hinterland in Sri Lanka. Antiquity 81(313): 699-719.

Author(s) from Durham


The ancient Sri Lankan city of Anuradhapura is currently the subject of one of the world's largest and most intensive archaeological research projects. Having traced its growth from an Iron Age village to a medieval city, the research team now moves to the task of modelling the surrounding landscape. Three seasons of fieldwork have located numerous sites of which the most prominent in the urban period are monasteries. Here is a clue about how the early urban hinterland was managed which has implications well beyond Sri Lanka.