Royal Asiatic Society Sri Lanka Public Lecture “Indo-Pacific Beads and Sri Lanka’s External Connectivity during the Pre-modern Period” by Wijerathne Bohingamuwa, Senior lecturer, Department of History and Archaeology,
Posted on October 26th, 2016

Royal Asiatic Society Sri Lanka Public Lecture 

                                  “Indo-Pacific Beads and Sri Lanka’s External Connectivity during the Pre-modern Period”

by 

Wijerathne Bohingamuwa, Senior lecturer, Department of History and Archaeology,

University of Ruhuna and doctoral candidate at the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford

  on

 Monday 31st October 2016 at 5.00 p.m.

  at the

 GaminiDissanayake Auditorium, No. 96, AnandaCoomaraswamyMawatha, Colombo 07

ALL ARE WELCOME

 

Indo-Pacific beads (IPB) are small monochrome beads cut out of drawn glass tubes. They are generally considered as being first made at Arikamedu in South India ca. 250 BCE, although they were also produced at a number of sites in India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia; possibly before the Arikamedu production. Archaeologically, IPBs are recovered from South Africa in the west to Japan and Korea in the Far-east; the highest concentration being, however, in Sri Lanka and India.

IBPs are the most numerous beads found at many urban/port sites such as Anuradhapura, Tissamaharama, Mantai/ ahatittha in Sri Lanka. Findings indicate that Mantai produced IBPs from ca. the 2nd century BCE to the 12th/13th centuries CE. It was among the four main IPB producers in the ancient world and a major IPB supplier to the maritime bead trade. Sri Lankan made IBPs are found in East Africa, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Southeast Asia and possibly in China. Based on the analysis of beads from Mantai, Kantharodai and Kirinda and drawings from findings from the contemporary sites within and outside Sri Lanka, this talk will attempt to provide an alternative reading to Sri Lanka’s external trade and connectivity during the pre-modern times.

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