Sudharshan Seneviratne— 2013 Conservation and Heritage Management Award

Sudharshan Seneviratne

Award Citation:

The Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to present the 2013 Conservation and Heritage Management Award for excellence in the conservation of archaeological sites and collections to Sudharshan Seneviratne in recognition of his tireless efforts to protect and preserve the archaeological heritage of Sri Lanka.

Seneviratne’s efforts include archaeological conservation, advocacy, education and training, and cultural-awareness raising. As archaeological director of the Jetavana Project at Anuradhapura, Seneviratne worked on the conservation of the Jetavana stupa, the largest masonry structure in Sri Lanka. Under his direction, the displays in the site museum were reorganized to emphasize the multicultural, multireligious, and commercial aspects of the site rather than simply its role as a Buddhist “monastic city.” 

His other projects include the Kandy Heritage City Cultural Mapping Project; the creation of the Ethnographic Museum for Plantation Workers of Indian Origin; and the conservation of the Dutch Warehouse in the Galle Fort, which now serves as the National Maritime Archaeological Museum. Among its displays are reproductions of archaeological objects made in the recently established Antiquities Replica Centre of the Central Cultural Fund, where young artisans are trained in traditional Sri Lankan arts and crafts.

As head of the department of archaeology at the University of Peradeniya for nearly 10 years, Seneviratne has been instrumental in training the next generation of south Asian archaeologists. In recent years, Seneviratne has served as senior cultural advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as director general of the Central Cultural Fund. In that role, he spearheaded the creation of new museums to showcase the shared cultural heritage of the Sri Lankan people, as well as the production of heritage publications in all three national languages (Sinhala, Tamil, and English).

On behalf of the Archaeological Institute of America, it is an honor to present the 2013 Conservation and Heritage Management Award to Sudharshan Seneviratne.

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