Iron Age Settlements Discovered at Jaffna

Three ancient settlements, dating back at least 2,000 years ago, have been found on Jaffna Peninsula, an area on the northern tip of Sri Lanka. The settlements were discovered three weeks ago said Dr. Senarath Disanayake, the director general for the countrys archaeology department. Together, the sites cover a piece of barren land about 5 square kilometers.

So far, only the black and red ware pottery found on the surface of the site has been studied. Disanayake said the artifacts date back to the Iron Age, putting the settlements roughly around 900 BC and up to the 1st century AD.

There are not a lot of sites like these in Jaffna, Disanayake said, stressing their importance. These settlement sites are very rare.

As for who built the settlements, the archaeology department wont know until more thorough excavations begin some time next year. Dissanayake said for these kinds of sites, normally a few houses are found.

The find comes as the Sri Lankan Civil War has recently ended. The country’s archaeology department has been working to identify and preserve archaeological sites around Jaffna city, and on the peninsula. Some of the major sites include Jaffna fortress, an old colonial building, as well as the Kadurugoda Buddhist temples.