Sunday, April 18, 2021

Fragmentary Arabic Inscription, Colombo National Museum

Fragmentary Arabic Inscription, Colombo Museum
This is one of the Arabic Inscriptions in Sri Lanka. It is presently on the display at the Stone Gallery of Colombo National Museum.
 
The place of discovery is not known for this inscription (Kalus & Guillot, 2006). Although it is presently preserved on an irregular-shaped stone slab, this inscription probably had been engraved on a slab with a rectangular shape (Kalus & Guillot, 2006). The circular carving in the middle of the slab indicates that it has been reused for another purpose (Kalus & Guillot, 2006).
 
The slab is 0.65 m tall and its width varies from bottom to top [(bottom: 0.44 m; top: 0.38 m; max-width: 0.58 m) Kalus & Guillot, 2006]. The writing had been margined by an engraved frame which is still visible at some places of the slab. The first part of the record is missing and only seven lines are remaining today (Kalus & Guillot, 2006).

This inscription is written in the same Eastern Kufic as that in Puliyantivu Inscription but is probably of a somewhat later date (Dasanayaka, 2017; Kalus & Guillot, 2006). The inscription is worn and the stone may have been used as a grinding stone or for such purpose (Dasanayaka, 2017; Kalus & Guillot, 2006).
 
References
1) Dasanayaka, R., 2017. Arabs in Serandib: Trade relations between Sri Lanka and West Asia from ancient time to 15th century A. D.: Historical and Archaeological Survey. S. Godage & Brothers. ISBN: 978-955-30. pp.351-352.
2) Kalus, L. and Guillot, C., 2006. Réinterprétation des plus anciennes stèles funéraires islamiques nousantariennes: III. Sri Lanka (In French). Archipel, 72(1), pp.24-26.

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