Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Fa Hien Cave
Kenneth A. R. Kennedy
Human skeletal remains of Late Pleistocene antiquity were recovered from several caves and open-air sites in Sri Lanka during the last half of the 20th century. Fa Hien Cave is one of the largest on this island nation and is situated in the southwestern lowland wet zone of Katutara District, Sabaragamuva Province. In 1968, human burials were excavated by Dr. Siran U. Deraniyagala, of the government's archaeology department, and 20 years later, with his assistant, W. H. Wijepala. These archaeologists dug in two areas at the center and rear of the cave, which yielded at the lowest level above the bedrock numerous stone non-geometric microlithic tools, charcoal from ancient hearths, and faunal and human skeletal remains. Radiocarbon dates obtained from charcoal at this first level and at deposits above it indicate that Fa Hien Cave was occupied over a long period of time: from about 33,000 to 4,750 years ago. ...