Archaeologists uncover rare inscriptions in Ampara

By Wasantha Chandrapala

A team of archaeologists led by Sri Jayawardhanapura University’s Archaeology Professor K. Hettiaratchi and Professor P. Kannangara have unearthed ruins in Girikumbila Tissa Vihara in the Rajagalathenna area in the Ampara District, where old inscriptions have been found for the first time in the area.

Some of the inscriptions that have been deciphered show how money was disbursed annually for the maintenance of Girikumbila Tissa Sabbatha Vihara in the 10th century, during the reign of King Buddhadasa, son of Jettatissa the Great. The offering of money was marked with great festivity according to the inscriptions. These documents show that during the reign of King Buddhadasa, he had relations with Ruhuna. Some of these finds are said to belong to the 3rd and 4th centuries.

Canals leading to a rocky pool to conserve water during the drought have been found in Rajagalakanda, among the ancient ruins. A stone umbrella that can shelter up to 150 persons was found too, on top of the rocky area. The advent of Mahinda Thera is chronicled in Brahmin letters in one inscription in Tissa vihara.

However the team said their work was being hampered because of the difficult terrain of the area. The research team also included Ven. Dambara Amila Thera and the Ampara GA, among others.

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