Eloquence in Stone journeys through the two and half millennia of Sri Lanka's history and delves further back into the shadowy world of the pre-historic period where man lived in caves in Batadombalen and planted oats and barley in Horton Plains.
It tells a tale of destruction and downfall, flowering and regeneration, decline and inexorable decay. As it unfolds we move from the age of stone to the age of wood and finally to the era of wattle and daub. Much more than the story of monuments in stone, it is an account of the culture which grew up around them, the world which produced them and the people who built them.
Around fifteen years ago Nihal Fernando found in SinhaRaja Tamitta-Delgoda the author he had been searching for to write this classic work on the archaeological sites that Fernando had been documenting for years.
Travelling together with the Studio Times team they spent the next couple of years traversing the many roads and by roads and exploring the trackless jungle sites of this country, photographing and researching the archaeological sites that lie scattered all over this land of ours.
From the sites at our doorstep in Kotte to Velgam Vihara in the north-east, the Elephant Stables in Tissamaharama to Horse Point, Kudirimale in Wilpattu and from Budupatuna in the Wila Oya basin and Handpanvillu Flood Plains, they went photographing the land and its people, the cave and the tanks and the ancient temples and palaces.
Spearheaded initially by Nihal Fernando and thereafter by Anu Weerasuriya, this monumental work is now ready for publication by Studio Times Ltd. Of over 475 pages and 460 photographs, with glossary and bibliography, it is a book where words and images combine to tell the story of this land and its people.
Eloquence in Stone: the Lithic Saga of Sri Lanka by Nihal Fernando & Sinharaja Tamitta-Delgoda with supplementary photography by Anu Weerasuriya, Luxshmanan Nadaraja, Christopher Silva, Devaka Seneviratne & Roshan Perret and designed by Eranga Tennekoon, may now be purchased with the publishers Studio Times Ltd.