Dr Siran Deraniyagala passes away

Former Director-General of Archaeology, Dr Siran Upendra Deraniyagala has passed away.

Siran completed his school education at St. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia. He obtained a BA and MA in Architecture and Sanskrit at Trinity College, Cambridge before completing a postgraduate Diploma at the Institute of Archaeology, University of London.

At the Institute he qualified with distinction and was awarded the Gordon Childe Prize, as one of two best all-round students in all fields of archaeology.

In 1968 he joined the Archaeological Survey Department of Sri Lanka as the Assistant Commissioner in charge of scientific excavations. In 1969 he oversaw the first excavation at the citadel of Anuradhapura down to its earliest levels.

Siran then focused on prehistoric explorations and excavations in ancient shore dunes (referred to as the Iranamadu Formation) dating back to over 130,000 years before the present.

He used the resulting data to complete a PhD at Harvard University in 1988. In 1992 he was appointed as the Director-General at the Department of Archaeology, a position he held until 2001.

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