Archaeological treasures to be catalogued

[TamilNet, Monday, 04 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
A two day workshop, which was addressed by prominent scholars, began today in Trincomalee today, to recruit 30 graduates and equip them with the required Equipment to make an inventory of the archaeological and traditional artefacts in north-east, said sources in Trincomalee.

The survey which is to be done from Pt. Pedro in the Jaffna District, up to Pottuvil in Amparai, has been necessitated by the displacement of people due to the war.

The displacement has led to the loss of artefacts which are of traditional cultural value from homes and other places.

Speaking at the seminar Professor A Shanmugagdas, Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Jaffna said that that with repeated displacement of the Tamil people, artefacts of important cultural and archaeological value had already disappeared from the north and east.

He also said that if the remaining specimens were to be preserved, this was the time to begin a survey to inventories the items.

He said that even common household items would be important pieces of archaeological evidence when the history of the area came to be written in the future.

Professor. N Gopalakrishna Iyar of the Department of Hindu Civilisation and Culture, University of Jaffna said that statues and other objects of veneration were being stolen from places of worship and this trend should be arrested at once.

Professor K Sivathamby, of the Eastern University said that an inventory of archaeologically valuable artefacts in the Sinhala areas was done in 1960 and unless this was done in the Tamil areas now, the time might come when these artefacts are lost forever.

The seminar, organised by the Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Sports of the Northeastern Provincial Council, is to train persons who will carry out the survey.

The survey includes recording verses and other material that exists in the oral tradition as well. The group will be equipped with cameras and voice recorders to help their task.

 

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