By Wasantha Kumara-Matugama
The Pahiyangala cave, despite being the home to nearly 31,000-year-old skeleton of pre-historic value, is yet to be established as a museum, President of Pasyodunrata Archaeological Foundation, Ven. Pahiyangala Ananda Sagara Thera charged.
The Pahiyangala cave at Bulathsinhala was discovered by former Director General of the Archaeology Department, Dr. W. H. Wijepala in 1986. A few days ago, the oldest human skeletal parts in South Asia were found during archaeological excavations. In the diggings made during 1986-1998, around 31,000-year-old human skeletal parts of 12 persons were found.
In 2005, diggings made under the leadership of Nimal Perera, Deputy Director General of Archaeology Department, information about 37,000-year-old human settlements were confirmed.
Starting from late February, the archaeological diggings renewed the human history by finding a skeleton in full. Animal parts of rhinoceros, elephants, tigers were also discovered, but they are not to be seen today in the cave.
Archaeologists and digging specialists visit the site 10 to 12 times a day. But, the road leading to the cave is in bad condition.
Archaeology authorities, including former Archaeology Director General Hiran Deraniyagala, Archaeology Director General Dr. Senarath Dissanayaka, Deputy Director of the Archeology Department, Dr. Nimal Perera, have agreed to put up an archaeology museum, said Pahiyangala cave temple chief Ananda Sagara Thera. However, based on the findings Ananda Thera requests the authorities to establish a pre-historic museum.
The Pahiyangala area is a hub of local legends, and therefore, is important in terms of social, economic and pre-historic value. Executive Director of Media Forum Rohana Siriwardena said excavation using modern technological methods and preserving them for future generation is an important task entrusted with the present guardians of archaeology.