The lecture last evening (12th July 2018) @ the PGIAR, (Post Graduate Institute of Archeology and Research, was to be on Pre Historic Settlements. However Dr Siran Deraniyagala, a former Director General of Archeology, spoke on the arrival of humans through history into Lanka. This was in the presence of a distinguished gathering that included renowned Archeologists, Dr Roland Silva, a former Director General and ex Ambassador Sudarshan Seneviratne, who as Professor of Archeology in Peradeniya University, is the only Chair of Archeology in the University System, among them.
His talk was on the history of human existence in Sri Lanka, and the most likely period in which they initially came, beginning with the present estimate of over 150,000 years ago from South India over the land bridge that would have been there in that period. They have yet to find genetic material to determine if these early humans were Homo Sapiens or a an earlier version, but with more recent arrivals and finds of human skeletal remains, we know for certain that Homo Sapiens – Anatomically Modern Humans are dated to 40,000 years ago, and is equivalent to the earliest finds in all of Asia.
What he says is that prior to the Iron Age, and Agriculture, Humans would have come to Lanka when the carrying capacity in their locations in India were exceeded and a more aggressive wave of humans banished existing inhabitants from their lands and they had no option as hunter gatherers to come to Lanka over the land bridge.
Wave after wave of humans descended upon the other, and with intermarriage merely added to the gene pool, and not until the Iron Age and Agriculture, which then increased the Human Carrying Capacity in Lanka, there was only a limited carrying capacity as Humans had to compete with animals for space.
The earliest inscriptions found date to between 500BC and 600BC and inscriptions immediately bestow a higher form of civilization as data could be passed down to generations more accurately rather than through word of mouth.
Later on as the world developed more waves of people including the arrival of Vijaya, which was BUT ONE of the many waves to descend on this Country, culminating in Portuguese, Dutch and English, who then brought Indian Indentured labor to add to the history of movement of humans into Lanka. As I have noted in my blog posts earlier, there are more humans waves yet to come. This will further add to the gene pool and finally put to rest the fallacy of any pure race concept. Once all the work is completed on gene mapping, perhaps in the next 20 years many of our common pre-conceptions will change.
Many of the myths relating to Vijaya and Kuveni will once and for all be dispatched into common forklore, once conclusive evidence emerges with advances in technology. Then even Ravana and his flying machine, that the majority of Sri Lankans still cling to as fact will merely be stuff of fiction.