A Study of the Ancient Irrigation System of Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka
The oldest settlement evidence of Anuradhapura goes back to the early Iron Age and dates back to 900-600 BC based on radio carbon analysis (Daraniyagala; 1992, page 709).The irrigation was the key factor for the evolution of the ancient village system which can be considered as a significant development in the Iron Age. There isarchaeological evidence to prove that, there were human settlements in Anuradhapura even before the arrival of king “Vijaya”. The excavations done in citadel city(Athulunuwara - Anuradhapura) had foundsome potterywhich proves that there were human settlements prior to ‘Vijayas’ arrival. Since they had a technology and civilization in clay pottery it might be assumed that they might have had the technology in irrigation and the concept of tanks too. The ideas on irrigation tanks had been spread later as large tanks andthousands of small tanks in each and every village in the later period of the Anuradhapura era. These tanks greatly influenced on the development of agriculture of the country.Canals and tanks were constructed by successive kings too.
Keywords - Irrigation, Tank, Management, Settlements