Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

University of Ruhuna

Bohingamuwa, B.H.M.W. (Dr.)

Senior Lecturer

Department of History & Archaeology
Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
University of Ruhuna
Matara 81000
Sri Lanka

Phone: +94 714176869

Email: wbohingamuwa@yahoo.com


Having graduated from the Banaras Hindu University, India in Archaeology (1993), Bohingamuwa moved to Deccan College in Pune, where he studied Prehistoric Archaeology for the Master’s Degree (1995). Then he worked as a Research Assistant at the Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS) (1995-1997). Bohingamuwa, then carried on to read for a MPhil at the University of Cambridge where he worked on Ancient Irrigation systems of Sri Lanka (1998). In 2017, Bohingamuwa completed his PhD from the University of Oxford on Sri Lanka’s Indian Ocean interactions and internal networks in premodern times. Between 1998 and 2002, Bohingamuwa served as a lecturer and visiting faculty member at Archaeology Departments at the Universities of Buddhasravaka, Rajarata and Kelaniya as well as the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology, Sri Lanka. Since 2002, Bohingamuwa has been working as a Senior Lecturer at the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Ruhuna.

Bohingamuwa’s long-term research interests lie in ancient irrigation system and agriculture of Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean maritime networks, Sri Lanka’s external connections and internal networks, and Indigenous communities and traditional knowledge systems of Sri Lanka. The major research projects he has been involved includes the Oxford University based Sealinks Project of Dr. Nicole Boivin.


  • DPhil/PhD (Oxford)
  • MPhil (Cambridge)
  • MA (Poona)
  • BA (Banaras)

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • FCCS

Specialized fields and teaching areas:

Ancient Sri Lankan irrigation system and early agriculture, Indian Ocean (pre-modern) maritime networks, Maritime connections of pre-modern Sri Lanka, Ethno archaeology and Indigenous knowledge systems

Heritage management, Settlement archaeology, Under water archaeology, Prehistoric archaeology, Research methodology, History of archaeological thought.

Research Areas:

Irrigation archaeology of Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean maritime connections, Ceramic and bead networks of the Indian Ocean, Indigenous communities and traditional lifestyles


Journal publications

  • In Press Eleanor Kingwell, Wijerathne Bohingamuwa, Dorian Q Fuller, Nicole Boivin, Nimal Perera, Gamini Adikari, (in Press). Mantai, an ancient sea port of Sri Lanka. The archaeobotanical evidence., Antiquity

  • 2005 ‘The Ancient Panda Wewa: An archaeological investigation’. Ancient Ceylon, 18, pp. 82-105.

Conference publications

  • 2017 (Bohingamuwa, W. and De Silva, Janeeka). Changing of trade and commercial interactions between Sri Lanka and South-East Asia from ca. the 12th century to the 19th century AD., Proceedings for the International conference on Strengthening Cultural Linkages in the Bay of Bengal Region, 27th – 28th May 2017 at the Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, Dhaka: BIMSTEC Secretariat and Bangkok: Chulalongkorn, PP 67-83

  • 2017. Pearls in historical context: An alternative perspective on external trade and connectivity of Sri Lanka, Paper presented at the 14th Academic sessions- 2017, University of Ruhuna, PP. 17
  • 2015 Small things and alternative histories: Indo- Pacific beads in historical reconstruction of Pre-modern Sri Lanka. Symposium 2014, symposium proceedings, National Centre for Advance Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka.

  • 2014 Horton, M., Bohingamuwa, W., Blinkhorn, J., Adikari, G. & Boivin, N. 2014. Where East meets, West: Port archaeology in southern Sri Lanka. Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association Conference, Siem Reap, 12-18 January.

  • 2014 Military role of Mahatittha, The ancient seaport of Rajarata Civilization- A historical reappraisal, Inspiring Research Symposium 2014, symposium proceedings, National Centre for Advance Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka. Pp. 101-104.

  • 2012 Boivin, N., Crowther, A., Fuller, D., Hoogervorst, T., Horton,M, Bohingamuwa, W. & Wollstonecroft, M. “Food Globalisation in the Early Indian Ocean: Processes and Agents. Paper presented at theDimensions of the Indian Ocean Past Conference’ in Fremantle, Western Australia, 12-14 November 2012.

  • 2010 “Sea links and the Archaeological Investigation at the Ancient Port Site of Manthai 2009/2010: A Preliminary Report” Paper presented at The Twelfth International Conference on Sri Lanka Studies Conference, Open University of Sri Lanka from 18th to 20th March 2010, pp 104.

  • 2010 “Looking for Links: Sea Links in Ancient Sri Lanka”. Paper presented at the “Seventh Annual Academic Sessions, University of Ruhuna, Faculty of Engineering on 18th and 19th of March 2010, pp 76, 78.

  • 2009 “Archaeological Imprints of Maritime Contacts in Ancient Sri Lanka”. Ancient Indian Ocean Corridors Conference, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford, 7-8 November, 2009.

  • 2009 “Irrigation Archaeology of Sri Lanka: A Review”, International Seminar on “Glimpses of Scientific Archaeology conference”, Colombo, 26-27 January 2009.

  • 2008 “Bateegama Gurukanda Vihara: Cases of Silently Decay in Ancient Vihara Paintings of Sri Lanka.” Third Biannual International Conference of the Sri Lanka Association of Buddhist Studies, Buddhasravaka Bhikshu University, Sri Lanka, 8-11th December 2008.

  • 2008 “The Water Regulation Technology of Ancient Sri Lankan Reservoirs: The Bisokotuwa Sluice”, The 9th International Conference on Sri Lankan Studies, 28-30 Nov. 2003, Ruhuna University, Matara.

  • 2004 “Irrigation Archaeology of Sri Lanka: A Colonial Initiative”. Culture and Society in a Colonial Context: Leonard Wolf International Memorial Conference, held on 18-19, November 2004, University of Ruhuna.
  • 1990 “Ancient Sri Lankan Irrigation Works”. National Archaeological Congress, Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo.

  • 1989 “Ancient Sri Lankan Irrigation Construction Activities as Documented in the Pali Chronicles”. Fourth Annual Science Conference, Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy.

Book chapters

  • 2010 ‘Conservation of Maritime Heritage of Sri Lanka; (Sinhala). In L.P. Jayatissa (ed.). The Trainers Manual for Community Based Coastal Resources of Sri Lanka. Seva Lanka Institute, Sri Lanka.

  • 2010 An Ethno-archaeological Survey of the ‘Wanniyas’ (in Sinhala). In The Vedda Heritage of Sri Lanka, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Sri Lanka.

  • 2009 ‘Sluice Technology in Ancient Sri Lankan Reservoirs: The Bisokotuwa Sluice’. In Sirinimal Lakdusinghe Felicitation Volume, Neptune Publishers (Pvt.), Battaramulla, Sri Lanka.

  • 2009 Senarath Paranavithana’s Archaeological Vision and Practice’ (in Sinhala). In A Special Volume on Literature. Cultural Ministry of the Southern Province, Si Lanka, pp. 90-116.

  • 2009 ‘Hydraulic Society in Ancient Sri Lanka’ (in Sinhala). In Shared Water- Shared Opportunities. Colombo: National Water Supply and Drainage Board of Sri Lanka, pp. 90-103.

Invited keynote talks and seminar presentations

  • 2017 Sri Lankan Moonstone auctioned at London: Revisited; Invited Lectures and Panel discussion, Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, 23rd January 2017

  • 2016 Indo-Pacific beads and Sri Lanka’s external connectivity during the Pre-modern period, Invited Speech, Delivered at the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, 31st October 2016

  • 2013 “Mantai, An Ancient Seaport in Sri Lanka and Its Interactions with the Indian Ocean Region”, Invited lecture given at the World University Network Indian Ocean Archaeology Network meeting in London, held at the British Museum, United Kingdom, 22-23 Feb, 2013.

  • 2012 ‘Sri Lanka’s Early Indian Ocean Interactions: The Role of the Buddhist Sangha’. Invited lecture delivered at the University of Tokyo, Japan, 12th January 2012

  • 2010 “Manthai and beyond: Sri Lanka’s early Indian Ocean Contacts”, paper presented at the "Contact and Creativity in the Ancient World" One day workshop, Keble College, Oxford, Saturday 13 November 2010.