Friday, August 2, 2013

Space management in caves; an architectural perspective

Space management in caves; an architectural perspective

Dandeniya A.S1, Dinesh D.Dewage2 & W.S. Weliange3

1BGJF Consultancy Services, 35A ½, Sunethradewi Road, Kohuwala, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
2Departement of Archaeology, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
3Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology, 407, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka

Corresponding Author;

Caves and cave shelters were the initial home for prehistoric people. Caves and cave shelters have one uninterrupted space defined by rock walls but spatial segregation would have occurred for catering variety of activities which could be ranging from highly personal to very social. During the ongoing Speleology project carried out by the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology of the University of Kelaniya, space management in caves by prehistoric people were imagined based on the basic behavior such as cooking, eating, chatting, playing, love making and kindergarten of the prehistoric people. Five caves among the 10 studied namely Sthreepura Lena Cave (06°49' 54.6'' N; 80°22' 27.8''E) and Divaguhawa Lena Cave in Kuruvita (06°49' 50.1'' N; 80°22' 23.8'' E), Vavul Guhava Cave in Kosgala (06°43' 31.5'' N; 80°20' 34.6'' E), Hakurugala Raja Mahawiharaya Cave (07°01'. 54.6'' N, 080°14' 36.0'' E) and Keragoda Galge Cave in Mahiyanganaya (07°26'. 43.53'' N, 081°05' 31.5'' E) shows the basic and vital spaces needed for the optimum benefit of each individual as well as the groups. Spatial distribution among individuals and groups would have occurred I these caves particularly among various groups such as kids, teens, matured, eldest, strongest, and weakest and the leader and his closest followers. The spaces in those caves would have provided facilities for spatial segregation among entire age and size structures. Caves such as Batadomba Lena Cave in Kuruwita, Beli Lena Cave in Kithulgala, Pothgul Lena Cave in Alawala and Fahiyan Lena Cave in Bulathsinhala show a model of the living space used by the prehistoric man. Archaeological evidence has proved that those caves were successful settlements during the prehistoric times. It can be concluded that continuous space in the cave interior would have catered for variety of human behaviors of different individuals and groups. Political hierarchy would have been another invisible dimension in cave dwelling human society. The success and the failure of the prehistoric human society would have influenced by the availability of space. The factors that divide the space of the cave for various activities would have been the spaces and shapes with different amounts of volumes, light, humidity and the surface rhythm of each defined space.

Key words; cave dwelling society, cave space, physical structures and human behavior

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