Sunday, 18 April 2021

Mantai Arabic Inscription

Mantai Arabic Inscription
Mantai Arabic Inscription (Sinhala: මාතොට අරාබි සොහොන්ගල් සෙල්ලිපිය) is one of the Arabic Inscriptions in Sri Lanka. It is presently on the display at the Stone Gallery of Colombo National Museum.

A tombstone
This stone slab which has been identified as a tombstone is said to have been discovered at a site in Mantai in Mannar District (Kalus & Guillot, 2006). However, as mentioned in some sources, it was discovered at a place in Jawatta in Colombo District (Dasanayaka, 2017).
The slab is rectangular in shape and its lower part apparently has been cut with some instrument (Kalus & Guillot, 2006). The height of the slab is 0.97 m and its width slightly differs at the top (0.51 m) and the bottom [(0.47 m) Kalus & Guillot, 2006]. The writing has been engraved within a rectangular frame with an arch-shaped top. Ten lines of writing are visible on the slab and the first three lines are engraved within the arch.
The inscription records the death of Yazid, son of Al-Marzuban, son of Mahwaih (Kalus & Guillot, 2006). It does not mention a date but that may have been included in the lower part of the record which is mission today (Kalus & Guillot, 2006). Depending on the characters of the record, it has been dated to the 11th century A.D. (Kalus & Guillot, 2006).

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. p.148.
2) Kalus, L. and Guillot, C., 2006. Réinterprétation des plus anciennes stèles funéraires islamiques nousantariennes: III. Sri Lanka (In French). Archipel, 72(1), pp.40-43.

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This page was last updated on 14 January 2023


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