The Institute

Who We Are

IAHS is a non-profit, independent academic and research institute founded and shaped by the passionate archaeologist and engineer, in 2019, to nurture an appreciation for Sri Lankan heritage and history among the general public, and provide archaeological and heritage management consultancy to private and public organizations.

The Genesis – an Independent Arm of archaeology.lk, Sri Lanka Archaeology

Till very recently, Sri Lanka Archaeology had been the only State-funded body dealing with archaeological requirements across the country.

An organization of international repute, its seminal work has won it many awards and accolades. The 2012 e-Swabhimani Award in the e-Culture and Heritage category and the Jurors Encouragement Award in 2013 at the Manthan Awards are some of the awards the Organization is best-known for.

Despite the Organization’s exemplary work in the field of archaeology and heritage exploration and preservation and research, there was an urgent need to further the cause through additional means.

To address these gaps in research and archaeological management, the Institute of Archaeology and Heritage Studies (IAHS) was set up by the passionate and innovative archaeology enthusiast duo, Eng. Anuradha Piyadasa and Archaeologist Chandima Ambanwala.


History

This is the latest addition to the archaeology.lk group. This was formed to carry out the academic and other professional services related to archaeology and heritage studies, carried out earlier by the archaeology.lk.

This was established in 2019, and the founders of the institute are Anuradha Piyadasa and Chandima Ambanwala.

  • 2020 – First exploration carried out in Horana
  • 2020 – Online Lecture Series during Covid-19 lockdown
  • 2020 – Registration as a non-profit company

Mission

Unearth and preserve the archaeological and cultural heritage of Sri Lanka through academic courses, research, and collaboration with industry.

Vision

IAHS offers academic courses, supports research, and provides context-based solutions to archaeological requirements in development projects.

Legality and Institute Objectives

The Institute is a legal entity registered under Article 34 of Companies Act 07 of 2007.

IAHS is an independent organization that focuses on the identification, preservation, and responsible exploration of prehistoric archaeological sites in the Island country and achieves it through its four main focus areas.

  1. Academic Courses
  2. Research and Publication
  3. Archaeological Consultancy
  4. Content Development

It is the only independent archaeological institute in Sri Lanka that provides academic courses, conducts research, and offers archaeological and heritage preservation consultancy to Government and private entities.

The Institute is partly funded by Sri Lanka Archaeology and also raises funds through research and consultancy projects that the experts take up.


Leadership

Eng. ANURADHA PIYADASA - FOUNDER / Director

A passionate archaeology and heritage studies enthusiast, Anuradha Piyadasa is a man of many hues. He is a trained electrical engineer with more than 18 years of experience in carrying out the digital transformation of processes and workflows in private and Government funded organizations.

Despite a flourishing career in engineering, it was his love for archaeology that drove him to pursue academic courses in archaeology and eventually join hands with archaeologist Chandima Ambanwala to start The Institute of Archaeology and Heritage Studies.

It was during his tryst with archaeology.lk – Sri Lanka Archaeology that he realized that many graduates and adults nurtured an appreciation for archaeology and, provided the right opportunity and accessibility, would pursue the science.

Around the same time, archaeological sites were getting lost at the altar of rampant development with development planners being clueless about what lay beneath the surface.

Through IAHS, Anuradha aims to offer guidance and solutions to these questions and sensitize city and development planners about the archaeological sites, and collaborate to preserve them without hindering the development process.

Archaeologist CHANDIMA AMBANWALA - FOUNDER / Director

Chandima Ambanwala is a nationally acclaimed archaeologist, who is steeped in the science and shares his vision for IAHS with Co-founder Anuradha.

With several journal papers to his credit and an outstanding career in prehistory and epigraphy of Sri Lanka, Chandima has been inspiring young scholars and archaeologists at the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka as a senior lecturer since 2011.

With more than 15 years of experience in archaeology and heritage management in Sri Lanka, archaeologist Chandima looks forward to extending his skills from the field beyond academics. He is the on-field expert who heads consultancy projects and is actively involved in on-site archaeological activities.