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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Allemagne → 2019 → The tank systems in the dry zone Sri Lanka : evolution, management and traditional knowledge

Freie Universität Berlin (2019)

The tank systems in the dry zone Sri Lanka : evolution, management and traditional knowledge

Abhayawardana, Nuwan

Titre : The tank systems in the dry zone Sri Lanka : evolution, management and traditional knowledge

Auteur : Abhayawardana, Nuwan

Université de soutenance : Freie Universität Berlin

Grade : Doctoral thesis (Dr. rer. Nat) 2019

Résumé partiel
The dry-zone water-harvesting and management system in Sri Lanka is one of the oldest historically recorded systems in the world. A substantial number of ancient sources mention the management and governance structure of this system suggesting it was initiated in the 4th century BCE (Before Common Era) and abandoned in the middle of the 13th century CE (Common Era). In the 19th century CE, it was reused under the British colonial government. This doctoral thesis predominantly aims at identifying the temporal development and socio-economic meaning of the water harvesting and management system through a systematic analysis of the written and epigraphic sources. Consequently, a critical analysis was conducted to examine the present day management system and the preservation of indigenous characteristics for a sustainable utilization of the resource in future. Finally, the preservation and continuation of the indigenous landscape system for the future was assessed in a heritage management perspective. This research study was conducted using an interdisciplinary research approach combining different research methods. In general, two major approaches were taken to analyse the socio-economic conditions and implications of past cultures : a) Analysis of epigraphical sources, primary and secondary literature, historical maps and archaeological findings were combined to identify and reconstruct the socio-economic conditions of the ancient Rajarata kingdom during Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa periods. b) Standardized qualitative interviews and workshops with the main stakeholders involved with the management of the Dry Zone hydraulic landscape were conducted, for the documentation of the present governance structure, land use practices, and existing indigenous knowledge. In first case study, 255 text passages containing 837 different records on ancient irrigation were compiled as a database for the period from the 5th century BCE to the 10th century CE to reconstruct the diachronic developmet of the system. The second case study aims to identify the ancient water management and governance structure in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka through a systematic analysis of ancient sources. Furthermore, colonial politics and interventions during reclamation have been critically analyzed. Basis for this was the already existing database from which 222 text passages containing 560 different records contained relevant information. 201 of these text passages were captured from lithic inscriptions and 21 text passages originate from the chronicles.

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