An early historic assemblage offshore of Godawaya, Sri Lanka: Evidence for early regional seafaring in South Asia.
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Investigations in 2010 by an international team of maritime archaeologists yielded a concentration of artefacts identified here by the authors as the remains of a shipwreck off the southern coastal village of Godawaya, Sri Lanka. The major findings from this site include many quern stones, various types of ceramics, and glass ingots. The comparative study of the artefacts from the Godawaya site and terrestrial sites of Sri Lanka and India suggest that the ship might have originated from the southern part of the Indian subcontinent. Based on analysis of the artefacts and radiocarbon dating of wood fragments from the site, a broad date of 2nd BCE to 2nd centuries CE is assigned to the assemblage, placing it within the early historical period. Thus, this is the earliest known and as-yet investigated shipwreck in South Asia. The survey findings are discussed and the assemblage is contextualised within the present lack of evidence for early vessels and seafaring in the region.
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