PGIAR - Recent Publication

Thambapanni: An Archaeological Study of Historical Copper Production in Seruwila, Sri Lanka

Several historical texts from Sri Lanka briefly mention the discovery of copper on the island, yet these sporadic references fail to unveil the profound reality of a robust copper industry that thrived from at least the 4th century BCE, if not earlier. This industry, which primarily catered to international trade, remained hidden in the shadows until recent archaeological investigations brought it to light.

Within the pages of this book unfolds the narrative of an archaeological exploration, unearthing the significance of this copper industry—a testament to what might well be Sri Lanka's earliest industrial endeavor. Stretching its influence to the global stage, this industry played a pivotal role, shaping the nation's historical trajectory over the course of centuries.

Embark on a journey through time as we unravel the legacy of Sri Lanka's copper industry and how its resonance can reverberate through the annals of history. This book stands as a testament to the profound insights that archaeological inquiry can bring, breathing life into enigmatic epochs of the past.

Research & Publication - PGIAR

All members of the academic staff and many associated scholars are engaged in individual or team-based research projects. The PGIAR undertakes research projects and carries out research and documentation for institutions such as the Department of Archaeology, the Central Cultural Fund and the Department of National Museums. The research output of the institute is published in local and foreign journals and monographs.

following subject areas as its research terrains

Archaeological theory and problematics | Prehistoric and protohistoric archaeology | Archaeology and history: historical records | Historical archaeology | Pre-industrial technology and history of science | Architecture and garden history | Art history: sculpture, painting, prints and crafts | Paleography, epigraphy and numismatics | Ethno-archaeology, cultural anthropology and anthropological archaeology | Environmental archaeology, geo and bio-archaeology | Museology | Conservation/ preservation of cultural property | Heritage / cultural resource management | Public archaeology; Public and social responsibility of archaeology | Development of archives and archival studies on archaeology and related subjects | Archaeological sciences such as Metallurgy, dating, etc... | Cognitive archaeology | Ancient languages such as Pali, Sanskrit, and etc...

Current Research

Archaeological research is currently being conducted by researchers at the PGIAR

Human and Faunal material from Prehistoric and Historic strata in Sri Lanka

Studying of all human skeletal materials and faunal remains unearthed from archaeo-logical sites in Sri Lanka will be undertaken in this research.

Glass and Glaze’: production and Use of Glass and Glaze in Ancient Sri Lanka

undertake a comprehensive study of the use and production of glass and glaze in ancient Sri Lanka

Yan Oya Middle Basin Mortuary Archaeology Research Project (YOMB)

undertake a comprehensive study of the use and production of glass and glaze in ancient Sri Lanka

Settlement Pattern Study of Upper Ma Oya

settlement distribution pattern in the landscape chronologically and geographically, which includes getting holistic view of the social dynamics from the prehistoric period to the late historic period.

Hunter Transition

How the Pleistocene hunter-gatherers made resilience on the Holocene climatic? and also addressing the problem of tolerance towards the minor climatic oscillations triggered off by the Holocene sea-level changes.

Palaeo-environment: -Social-Ecological Dynamics in Rapid Economic Development: Infrastructure and coastal Change in South-eastern Sri Lanka

Aim to understand the link between coastal environmental changes and socio-ecological changes and integrated management of the South-Eastern coastal zone (from Hambantota to Batticaloa).

Image worship generated in Mahavihara at Anuradhapura

Religious and architectural mix bag of the image worship from 3rd Century BC to 10th Century AD.

The emergence of modernism in art and the modern female subjectivity

The research based on selected mural sites from Gampaha,Colombo,Kalutara, Galle, Matara and Hambantota Districts in Southern and Western Provinces of Sri Lanka.

PGIAR Publication

The results of the research conducted by the staff and researchers of the Postgraduate Institute of Archeology are published as occasional papers and memoirs.

National Contribution Research Project

The Postgraduate Institute of Archeology makes a direct contribution to the development of the country and the preservation of the archaeological heritage. In particular, the Central Cultural Fund, the Department of Archeology, the National Museum and other government agencies are conducting this research.

About Us

The Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology (PGIAR) was established on the 1st January 1986, by order dated 18th December 1985, under section 24A of the Universities Act No. 16 of 1978 by the University Grants Commission. The PGIAR is a Postgraduate Institute of the University of Kelaniya. It is the prime institution for postgraduate studies and research in archaeology and subjects related to archaeology in the country.


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  • Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology
  • No. 407, 
  • Bauddhaloka Mawata
  • Colombo 7
  • Sri Lanka
  • (+94) 112 685 217