North Central, Central, and Northern Province

Annual Report 1905

By H.C.P. Bell, C.C.S.


With a vote temporarily much reduced, and with but half of the normal labour force available, the Archceological Survey liad, in 1905, to confine itself almost entirely to ” harking back” to field work done during the past fifteen years.

Owing to the heavy rains of successive monsoons, the constant incursion of herds of cattle, and the prodigality of nature itself, most of the ruins in the extensive areas excavated at Anuradhapura between 1890 and 1902—and at Polonnaruwa since 1900—had become washed, silted, and hardly recognizable. The very outlines were in places obscured, whilst details of mouldings and sculpture had been greatly hidden by the resprouting of irrepressible roots. It was most desirable—indeed essential—to partially re-dig the majority of the ruins already exhumed, lest the labour of years should be rendered entirely nugatory.*