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The Anuradhapura Hinterland

A region of history in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka with a unique water harvesting system.

Anuradhapura is one of the largest ancient ruins in the world with an extension of 40 square kilometres. The beginnings of the ancient city dates all the way back to prehistoric times. Thus archaeological excavations and written sources document the continuous development from an Iron Age village into a medieval metropolis and its decline in the 13th century. Situated in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka, the Anuradhapura Hinterland is characterized by monsoonal periods and a distinct dry period during the summer. By developing a sophisticated and unique water harvesting and management system in the 4th/3rd century BCE, it was possible to obtain the agricultural surplus for a growing population in the flourishing Anuradhapura kingdom.