Africa is considered the centre of human evolution. The migration of Homo sapiens from country to country expanding their distribution is discussed through the “Out of Africa Theory”. According to the findings, Homo sapiens have migrated to Asia from Eastern Africa and through Asia to Sri Lanka. Homo sapiens have travelled through the Indian coast and arrived in Sri Lanka approximately more than 70 000 years ago.
The initial settlements of these newly arrived Homo sapiens have probably been established in coastal areas in Sri Lanka. Depending on the dating of the stone tools discovered from the Pathirajawela site in Bundala, Dr S. U. Deraniyagala states his opinion that the Homo sapiens have reached Sri Lanka approximately 125 000 years before present.
The prehistoric period of Sri Lanka is considered as the 125 000 B. C. – 1000 B. C. based on data and information obtained through material factors such as faunal remains, floral remains, stone tools, pollen and soil layers. The prehistoric age consists of the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. The prehistoric man of Sri Lanka was given the name “Balangoda Man” by Mr. P. E. P. Deraniyagala. According to Dr S. U. Deraniyagala and Kenneth Kennedy, a prehistoric man who lived in Sri Lanka is Homo sapiens.
The prehistoric anthropological sites have been discovered from different regions of the island. The prehistoric man had established settlements in different climatic zones and vegetation types in Sri Lanka.
Evidence implies that prehistoric men who settled initially in coastal regions have moved further inland over time. Incensement of population, food and drinkable water requirements, shelter, security, environmental conditions, curiosity as well as personal preference may have resulted in the inland exploration of prehistoric man.
Narrative: I. H. Vitanage
Proofreading: Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, Sonali Premarathne
Image source: Internet
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