An Archaeological Study of the Remains of Terracotta found in the Northern Gate of Sigiriya Fortress
Sigiriya was the mountain fortress of king Kashyapa (477-495 AD). Owing to its unique royal gardens frescoes
and gratifies, Sigiriya has been declared as one of the world heritage sites of Sri Lanka. The area enclosed by the inner moat
has been the main focus of many previous studies. They indicate that Sigiriya has been a trading center and a tourist
destination in the past. The present investigation, however, was carried out on the area between the outer and inner moats of
Sigiriya in order to understand the utilitarian purpose of the said area in the past. For this purpose, an archaeological surface
survey was carried out on the northern entrance area of the fortress. Findings of this research include fragments of terracotta
human faces, elephant figures, terracotta ivory parts, pottery and beads. It has been suggested that the terracotta figuring
found at Sigiriya are remains of those sold to the persons who visited Sigiriya between the 7th and 13th centuries AD.
Typologically, our findings appear to belong to the same category of artifacts cited above. Therefore, it is possible that there
were trade centers in the inside area of the city as well as outer territory of Sigiriya to sale souvenirs and other items to
visitors to the fortress during the latter part of the Rajarata civilization.
Keywords - Sigiriya, Visitors Ancient trading center, Terracotta remains, latter part of the Rajarata civilization