Pre historic period means the period prior to the written history available.
Pre Historic man and evidence of their existence
The Archaeological Department commenced excavations in several areas selected, where it has different climate condition all over the island. These excavating are still continuing.
The Archaeologists have divided the pre historic period in to three categories for their easy references.
According to the records of the Archaeologists, the soil in different layers has given substantial evidence of our forefathers in coastal areas of semi dry regions in Sri Lanka. Although pre historical skeletons have not been discovered, some short of weapons and tools made of granite and fossils in areas such as excavated earth of Iranamadu of Kilinnochchi district, Miniha Galkanda of Yala, Mankulam of Mulathiv district and other areas leaving the pre historical evidence of human existence about five hundred thousand years of Homo erectus.
The Archaeologists believe that the tools and the weapons discovered from the Pathirajawela of Ambalanthota in southern part of the island is believed to be having a historical value of one hundred and twenty five thousand years. Archaeologists also believe that the grinding stones, tools and fossils excavated from the cave of Pahiyangala situated in Bulathsinghala of the Sabaragamuwa Province having pre historical values of nearly three thousand years.
Thereafter we have to consider the evidence of the existence of Homo sapiens (“Balangoda Manawaya”) existed in the areas of Sabaragamuwa tropical rain forest, summits of Horton Planes range and also in low dry lands such as Wilpaththu. It bears a very special notification that the skeletons found in Sri Lanka are the oldest skeletons found in South Asia.
The Homo sapiens lived during the period 37000 B.C. to 5000 B.C. have used several methods of technology. They have invented different technologies to make tools and weapons to cut, chop, scrap, grind and many more activities using granite and dolomite.
“Balangoda Manawaya” has in use of fish, meat, and vegetations and the test for the time period has proved that the ash found in Pahiyangala cave is a proof of using fire by these humans even before 37000 years.
The salt found in “Beli lena” situated in the Kithulgala in Sabaragamuwa Province, is another very important evidence to justify that these Homo sapiens had relationships with other Homo sapiens lived during this period in different other places. They have brought down salt from the sea which is about 80 km away from them.
The evidence found in Ibbankatuwa tomb excavated situated in Dambhulla of Mathale District, reveals that these Homo sapiens were very good in their technology of building tombs. The Archaeologist have discovered tombs divided in to two or three chambers, tombs in cluster, boxes made out of granite slabs and skeletons and ash dumped in pots and several other technologies. It has been also found that perfumes, pebbles, instruments used for applying eye shades made of copper, pieces of iron, parts of clay pots in the pots in tombs. These types of tombs have been discovered in several other areas such as Pomparippu in Mannar, Kandarodi in Jaffna, Kokebey in Kuchchiwlei and Mardankadawala.