Ranchamadama Prehistoric Canoe Burial Site (රංචමඩම ආදී මානව සුසාන භූමිය)

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Ranchamadama is a remote village in Kolonna DS in the Ratnapuara Distinct. In the early 2000s, when the Ranchamadama Vidyalaya dug its land for the foundation of a new building, they discovered some unusual clay artefacts which began the journey of the discovery of the Ranchamadama Prehistoric Burial Site.

in 2007, archaeologists who carried out excavations of the site discovered 6 clay burial canoes and 2 burial pits.   The clay canoes were oblong, built with a thin shell of burnt clay slabs. Since about 1 meter of earth has been removed to flatten the natural land to build the school buildings, these burial canoes have been 1 meter below the present natural surface.  The burial sites are thought to be spread over a 30×40 meter area underneath school buildings. The area excavated by archaeologists was 5×15 meters.

The clay canoes have contained funerary urns. Each has had more than one urn, some canoes are estimated to hold 30 urns. but none have survived. Carbon dating of this site has placed this burial site to 1359  BCE.

It was reported that the excavation at the school had been refilled, with just the top of the clay grave walls exposed. A large temporary shed had been built over the site for protection. A new school building had been constructed at a distance, to be able to demolish the old building and extend the excavation.

Travelling from Rathnapura towards Ambilipitiya, passing Udawalawe Junction and close to Maduwanwela Junction lies the road to the Ranchamadama village. The Ranchamadama School lies about 7 km along the inner roads of Kolonna in a valley bordered on its western side by several foothills of the Rakwana mountain range.

In 2009, more excavations were carried out on a site 2.7 km down this road which was believed to be an area where the pre-historic settlement which the burial site was a part of, to understand the culture of the people who used the proto-historic canoe burials at Ranchamadama school premises. For more information on this site check here.

Also See

Map of the Ranchamadama Prehistoric Burial Site

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.

Travelling Directions to the Ranchamadama Prehistoric Burial Site

Route 1 from Colombo to Ranchamadama Prehistoric Burial Site Route 2 from Colombo to Ranchamadama Prehistoric Burial Site
Through : Southern Highway – Weeraketiya – Panamure
Distance : 215 km
Travel time : 4 hours
Time to Spent ” 30 Mins
Driving directions : see on google maps
Through : Ratnapura – Pelmadulla
Distance : 161  km
Travel time : 4.30 hours
Time to Spent ” 30 Mins
Driving directions : see on google maps

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