The Department of Archaeology commenced its duties 1890. However, the ground-work related to archaeological activities took place many years before, during the governance of Sir Hercules Robinson. In 1868, seven years after the initiation of a archaeological survey in India, the Ceylon Government (now Sri Lanka), appointed a Committee to obtain information regarding the ancient architectural works of Ceylon. In 1871, an excellent series of photographs of the principle structures of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa was taken with the financial and other assistance provided by the Government of the Island. In the year 1873, Governor Sir William Gregory issued instructions for a complete survey to be undertaken. Therefore, a site survey of ancient Anuradhapura began during this year. The pioneering work carried out by J.G. Smither, titled “Architectural Remains of Anuradhapura”, comprising information of dagabas and certain other ruined structures, was released in 1894.
Department of Archaeology
- Department of Archaeology Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo - 07, Sri Lanka.
- 011 269 2840, 011 269 2841