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Dr. Senarat Paranavitana
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Author:  LankaLibrary [ Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Dr. Senarat Paranavitana

Dr. Senarat Paranavitana - Father of Archaeology

Dr. Senarat Paranavitana lives in Sigiriya

He was the first Sri Lankan Commissioner of Archaeology. He assumed duties on October 1, 1940. He has been a prolific writer far ahead of the others in the field both in quality and quantity of his writings. His Sigiri Graffiti in two volumes, and the “Inscriptions” of Ceylon, suffice to rate him among the Greatest Scholars in the World. Senarat Paranavitana was born in Mataremba Galle, in the Southern Province, on December 26, 1896, 112 years ago.

In 1902, he began his primary education at Mataremba school and entered Bonavista College, Galle in 1906. Later in 1910, he studied Sanskrit and Pali at the Heenatigala Ranawalagoda Pirivena. From June 8, 1920 till May 1923 he served as an English Assistant Teacher at Udugampola English School.

He joined the Archaeological Department on June 13, 1923. Paranavitana’s special field was Epigraphy. He became an authority on this subject within his first few years with the Department. To begin with he underwent training in India. He attained a thorough knowledge on all branches of Archaeological Activity such as Epigraphy, Iconography, Numismatics, Muselogy, Excavations, Conservation and Archaeological Administrator.

He got married to Roslin Kitulagoda on March 3, 1930. He obtained his Doctorate in 1936 and on October 18, 1940, he was appointed as the first Sri Lankan Commissioner of Archaeology.

Dr. Paranavitana was a veritable gold mine of knowledge as a Great son of Sri Lanka

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