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A 1,500 -year-old wall unearthed in Anuradhapura

Archaeologists of the Central Cultural Fund’s Maha Vihara and Abhayagiri project have unearthed a section of an ancient wall which could be older than 1,500 years, from an excavation near the Eastern Gateway of the Ruwanweli Chetiya in Anuradhapura.

The section of the wall was made of a mixture of ant-hill red clay, lime and brick powder, archaeologists said. Decorated with a light blue paint, the wall was lying about one metre below the surface. It had been covered so that its plaster would be protected from elements, archaeologists said.

The archaeological excavation has been conducted with the intention of finding any artifacts before the area is used for a modern development of fixing a ramp for lighting oil lamps (pahan veta). Currently, there is a pahan veta at the veli maluwa (sand-laid terrace) outside the eth pavura (wall with the heads of elephant tuskers). Under the plan of Ruwanweli Seya the current pahan veta needed to be shifted to the Southern side near the Eastern Gateway of the Chetiya.

The excavation is in progress under the instructions of Chief Incumbent of the Ruwanweli Seya temple and Chief Sanghanayake of the Nuwara Kalaviya Ven Pallegama Hemaratana Thera.

The excavations has yielded evidence of another ancient construction which is believed to be a toilet complex.

The remnants of the toilet complex have been unearthed from a place between the site of the Royal Palace of King Dutugemunu and the site, where an ancient hospital which is believed to have been used by the king was discovered.

The archaeologists have not yet determined whether the toilet complex had been built prior to the Chetiya or constructed for the use of the devotees in ancient times.

The excavations have yielded an ancient moonstone made before surface carving had been introduced to them. Two images of Bahiarava door keepers and two guardstones too have been found. In addition, they have unearthed sections of three ancient parapet walls and a staircase.

The excavations were in progress and assigning an exact age of the findings could not be done without the assistance of sophisticated labs, members of the excavating team said, adding that they needed to wait till the excavations were over.