Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Proto-History Project Collection
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives [Contact Us]3260 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104-6324
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
In 1966 the University Museum agreed to fund a one year field survey in northern Ceylon to find possible excavation sites for the investigation of the early history of the island; a period (pre- Buddhist) for which there was little systematic knowledge. The principal investigator for the survey was Vimala Begley, Assistant Curator, South Asia Section. As a result of that survey the sites of Kantarodai on the northern tip of the Jaffna peninsula, and Pomparippu further south on the western coast were selected. With funding mainly from the University of Pennsylvania Museum (additional resources from the Haas Foundation and the Ford Training Student Grants) excavations were undertaken in 1970. Principals for that project included George F. Dales (Associate Curator, South Asia Section) as Project Director, Bennet Bronson as Field Director, and Vimala Begley as Assistant Field Director. Assistant on the project was Mohamad Mauroof, Anthropology Graduate student, University of Pennsylvania. Subsequent analysis of the findings, including radiocarbon studies were conducted in 1983 and 1984.
The Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Proto-History Project Collection includes budgets and proposals, reports and publications, financial records, artifact loans, field notes, artifact analysis, radiocarbon analysis, and photographic prints and negatives housed in 1 box, and site plans and sections and fourty-one pottery drawings housed in 2 folders in Map Case M-20. While excavation began in 1970 in Ceylon, holdings in this collection span the years from 1966 (when the University Museum agreed to fund a one-year long expedition to find possible excavation sites) until 1984 when the most recent radiocarbon analyses were completed. Subjects of photographs and negatives are predominantly site features, artifacts, and excavation landscapes, but also include portraits and everyday life of the excavation team, local Sri Lankan residents, wildlife, and aerial photographs of the site. For related correspondence, please see the George Dales Collection, and for further information, see Vilmala Berley, “Archaeological Exploration in Northern Ceylon”, Expedition 9 (4); Summer, 1967, pp. 21-29., published by the University Museum.
- Anthropological museums and collections
- Archaeological expeditions
- Excavations (Archaeology)
- University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Allyson Glazier
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open to qualified researchers. Portions of the collection that have been photocopied or microfilmed will be brought to the researcher in that format; microfilm can be made available through Interlibrary Loan.
Photocopying will be undertaken by staff only, and is limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days. On-site researchers may print out unlimited copies from microfilm reader-printer machines at a per-exposure rate; see guidelines in the reading room for details.
- Use Restrictions
Although many items from the archives are in the public domain, copyright may be retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. The user is fully responsible for compliance with relevant copyright law. Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to University of Pennsylvania Museum Archives, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Permission to reproduce or quote text from this collection in a publication must be requested from and granted in writing by the Senior Archivist, University of Pennsylvania Museum Archives, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.