ECONOMYNEXT- A recent study into prehistoric cave dwellers in Pahiyangala found that 48,000 years ago these ancient humans adapted to a different environment away from coastal conditions for the first time in human history after leaving the African continent in Sri Lanka, Researcher Oshan Wedage said.
Wedage, a Lecturer in the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Sri Jayawardenapura told reporters today June 16, this study was a part of his research paper for a doctoral thesis on how modern humans spread in tropical rain forests and how their day to day activities were carried out in those conditions
The overall study into the cave also known as Fa Hien’s cave after the famous Chinese explorer, made headlines when it revealed that bow-and-arrow technology existed in Sri Lanka before Europe.
Wedage said that they were able to recover tools from the excavations done in Pahiyangala and Kithulgala which were identified as ‘bone points’, a weapon created by animal bones to make arrowheads to hunt animals.
He said after obtaining specialist knowledge about the tools from Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany and Dr Michelle Langley from Griffith University in Australia, they were able to conclude that this tool was used as an arrow to hunt fast-moving animals in the rain forest.
The backdate of tools to 48,000 years using Carbon-14 tests also revealed the evidence of adaptation of humans to a different environment condition for the first time after leaving the African continent in the tropical rain forest which was previously thought to be barriers to human occupation, with limited prey opportunities and disease challenges.
Wedage said that due to the limited resources available in Sri Lanka, they had to seek foreign support to do the Carbon-14 testing and they were able to get accurate results by sending two sets of samples for backdating to Beta Analytic Laboratory in America and Oxford University in the UK which led to a special appreciation for the research. (Colombo/June16/2020)
Edited by Arjuna Ranawana