The Early Iron Age in Sri Lanka lasted from 1000 to 600 BC. An iron age settlement was founded around 900 BC at the site of today’s Anuradhapura – the first capital of Sri Lanka. Discovery of pottery from the site bearing Brahmi script and red glass beads indicate contact with North India and the absence of Dravidian script seems to corroborate the view that Indo-Aryan was pre-dominant in Sri Lanka from at least as early as 500 BC. Early Iron Age sites exist also in Sigiriya, Kandarodai, Matota, Pilapitiya and Tissamaharama.
The Ibbankatuwa early iron age burial site close to Sigiriya is the best investigated proto-historic cist burial complex in the country. A Cist is a small stone-built coffin-like box or ossuary used to hold the bodies and artefacts of the dead. The site has been carbon-dated to 700 – 400 B.C.
A Department of Archaeology signpost at Ibbankatuwa on the Dambulla – Kurunegala road directs…
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