Saturday, 7 September 2019

Jaffna Archaeological Museum

Jaffna Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum of Jaffna, Sri Lanka is one of the Regional Museums Administered by the Department of Archaeology. It is situated on the wayside of Navalar road behind the Navalar Memorial Cultural Hall. The museum contains a large collection of artifacts mainly related to Buddhism and Hinduism.

This museum was originally established as a national museum in 1943 but when the museum staff was relocated to the Archaeological Department in 1965, the administration of it came under the Department of Archaeology (Rambukwella, 2014).
The present museum has been established on a land originally owned by the famous Tamil scholar and Philosopher Mr. Arumuka Navalar [(1822-1879) Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014). The land was gifted to the Department of Archaeology in 1975, by the Arumuka Navalar Foundation. Under the supervision of Dr. Roland Silva, the then Archaeological Commissioner, the construction of the museum building was commenced on this land in 1976 (Wijebandara, 2014).

The museum preserves a large collection of items and implements created/used by people of Jaffna centered Northern Province (Rambukwella, 2014). Antiquities with archaeological and historical value which were received from various places and donations are exhibited in the museum.

Artifacts that are being exhibited include stone creations, inscriptions, ivory objects, metal and timber creations, skeletons, as well as a number of antiquities discovered from nearby archaeological sites such as Jaffna Fort, Kadurugoda Viharaya, and Puttur (Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014). In addition to them, a large number of coins belonging to different periods is also available in the museum.

1) Dias, M.; Koralage, S.B.; Asanga, K., 2016. The archaeological heritage of Jaffna peninsula. Department of Archaeology. Colombo. pp.205-206.
2) Rambukwella, M.W.C.N.K., 2014. Heritage representation in culturally diverse societies: a case study of the Colombo National Museum in Sri Lanka (Doctoral dissertation, School of Museum Studies). p.416.
3) Wijebandara, I.D.M., 2014. Yapanaye Aithihasika Urumaya (In Sinhala). Published by the editor. ISBN-978-955-9159-95-7. pp.120-122.

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This page was last updated on 15 January 2023


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