The Lost Cities of Ceylon (Classic Reprint)by G. E. Mitton
The ruins of Egypt have been known for centuries, but it is only in comparatively recent years the ruins of Ceylon have been unearthed. Since then numbers have been attracted by these strange and beautiful specimens of architecture quite unlike anything found elsewhere. After the final victories of the Tamils, when the
Excerpt from The Lost Cities of Ceylon
The ruins of Egypt have been known for centuries, but it is only in comparatively recent years the ruins of Ceylon have been unearthed. Since then numbers have been attracted by these strange and beautiful specimens of architecture quite unlike anything found elsewhere. After the final victories of the Tamils, when the Cingalese kings were driven to their last stronghold, Kandy, which lies among the hills in the centre of the island, the jungle growth, so extraordinarily rapid in the moist atmosphere of Ceylon, sprang up in wave upon wave, engulfing in a vast green sea the sites of these ancient capitals. That such cities had existed had long been known, but knowledge of their whereabouts only remained as a tradition.
In the early part of the nineteenth century an Englishman, Lieut. Fagan, came upon some of the ruins, and was immensely struck with them ; he wrote an account in The Ceylon Gazette, Oct. 1820. The ruins were subsequently visited by one or another of the European officials in Ceylon, notably by Major Skinner on his road-making excursions in 1831, and subsequently. But it was not till 1871 that any steps were really taken to reclaim and preserve them. Then a series of fine photographs of both Anuradhapura and Polonna-ruwa, as they then were, was taken by Mr. Lawton, and official attention to archaeology in the island began.
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