Among the cave sites with particularly interesting archaeological contents is Alu Lena ( Alu Galge) at Attanagoda near Kegalle. The Galge or the rock shelter derives its name from the presence of ashes (alu) across the 5 x 3 m floor, a testimony to historic occupation of the site by game poachers. Beneath this recent accumulation are several layered deposits of travertine of which the uppermost contains lithic and skeletal materials. A number of faunal and human specimens have been found covered with a calcium encrustation that is due to their exposure to water falling from the drip ledge of the shelter. The outlier, of which the rock shelter is a part, is weathered into deep cavities that retain water well into the dry season, perhaps a critical factor in ancient human occupation.
An archaeological party under the direction of P. E. P. Deraniyagala that visited the site in 1954 discovered lithic and skeletal materials in a single test pit. The team found a poorly preserved human skeleton laid off its left side in a flexed position, facing east and covered with stones. In direct association with the human bones were found shells of Acavus superbus, Cyclopgorus, Autopoma, and two species of paludomus. Snail and mollusk shells of these genera were found elsewhere on the cave floor along with a few specimens of Pila. Of the reptiles, Lissemys, Testudo, and Varanus were identified. Other bones were identified as deer, monkey, buffalo, porcupine, and squirrel, all species existing on the island today. Fragments of chert and quartz were scattered throughout the site, but the only obvious stone tools are the unpitted pebbles of which three have ground surfaces. Deraniyagala suggested that some of the bones, teeth, and antler fragments had been shaped as tools.
By Kenneth A. R. Kennedy
The marker on the Google Map below indicates Attanagoda area. You may need to ask directions from here.
- Prehistoric Sites of Sri Lanka
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of Alu Lena Caves (Alu Galge)
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
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Travel Directions to Alu Lena Caves (Alu Galge)
|Route from Colombo to Alu Lena Caves (Alu Galge)|
|Though : Kadawatha – Nittambuwa – Kegalle|
distance from colombo :80 km
Travel time : 2 hours
Driving directions : see on google map