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ings were reproduced in buildings the erection of which is certainly separated by many centuries.
Probably the only conclusion to be arrived at, from an examination of these details, is that the simpler forms of outlines or decorations in buildings of a similar class may often indicate an earlier date of erection than the more elaborate ones. But this would be a very untrustworthy guide, as such details might be affected by the amount of the funds available for the work. There are also some peculiarities in the various modes of building with stone, and in the style of decorative design, that may point to earlier or later work. Thus, there are three entirely different types of holes cut for wedging stone, which indicate early, middle-age, and twelfth century work. But as general guides to the ages of structures it is evident that conclusions derived from such data are too vague to be of much use for practical purposes.
As a last resource, we are reduced to the bricks and brickwork. It has been already learnt that in some countries, as in Rome and Persia, the sizes of the bricks employed in buildings afford a valuable guide to the date of their manufacture. In India, although no definite scale of the dimensions may be possible, it is at least known that bricks of large sizes are a trustworthy indication of early work. I shall endeavour to show that in Ceylon, also, they may be utilised, in some instances, to a much greater extent than in India, but within somewhat wide limitations.
In order to obtain a satisfactory basis for such a conclusion the first requisite is a list of the dimensions of the bricks used in certain structures of varying ages, the dates of the construction or restoration of which are already known from the records found in the histories or preserved in the inscriptions that have been cut on them. It is in this respect that the chief difficulty lies. Even when a building is stated to have been erected during the reign of a special king, it may have been subsequently enlarged or repaired at some unknown time; and we might thus be led to accept as bricks of a certain age some that were burnt centuries afterwards. It was also a common custom, in the case of slight repairs that were
executed at a later date, to utilise ancient bricks and cut stones brought from some pre-existing ruin of the neighbourhood.
But as knowledge of the different types of bricks and building work accumulates, the greater part of these difficulties tends to be overcome. For instance, when any extensive repairs have been carried out we always find a large proportion of broken bricks laid in the re-built work, and nearly invariably bricks of two or even three or four sizes, which have been moulded at the time when each repair was done, or additional work built.
The data on which the value of any tables of the sizes of the bricks must chiefly depend are as follows. The list of structures of various periods will probably be accepted as belonging to the dates here assigned. For the basis on which the first dates rest, reference may be made to the genealogical table of early kings at the end of the chapter on inscriptions, and to the remarks appended to it.
1. The large dagaba, called the Maha Sãēya, at Mihintale, was constructed by King Dēvānam-piya Tissa in about 240 B.C.
2 and 3. The older dāgabas at Tissa (or Magama) in the Southern Province, the Mahā-nāga dāgaba and the Yaṭṭhāla dagaba, date from the reign of King Mahā-Nāga, that is, the second half of the third century B.C.
4. The Sanda-giri dāgaba, at the same place, belongs to the time of Kākavaṇṇa-Tissa, who reigned in the first half of the second century B.C. (Pūjāvaliya, p. 16.) 5. The Miriswaeți dāgaba at Anuradhapura, was built by king Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi in 158 B.C.
6. The inner work of the Ruwanwaeli dāgaba at Anurādhapura was built by the same king in 137 B.C. 7. The Lankarāma dāgaba at Anuradhapura was erected by King Waṭṭa-Gāmiņi, 76-88 B.C.
8. At Millaĕwa-gala wihāra in the North-central Province, near Tantirimalei, an inscription in letters of the first or second century A.D,1 refers to the construction of 'This inscription, a facsimile of which is given in Fig. No. 153, is as follows:
(1) Sidha. Wihāra mawita puriha cata gowaka Sivaha leņe (2)
the wihāra in the reign of King Nāga, that is Iļa-Nāga, 38-44 A.D. or one of the earlier Nāgas of the second century.
9. Hurulla Tank, in the North-central Province, was made by King Mahā-Sēna, 277-304 A.D. (Pūjāvaliya, p. 27.) 10. Padawiya tank, in the North-central Province, appears to have been built by King Maha-Sena. According to my information, it is called in a rare manuscript (the Maha Jalanandana) Maha Ratmala tank, which is included in the list of those made by him (Mah. i, P. 151). II. The Vanṇāṭṭi Pālama, the dam on the river below Padawiya, for utilising the water of that reservoir, is of about the same age.
12. Nirammulla Tank, in the North-western Province, on the Kimbulwana-oya, is included in the same list, as Kumbhila-vāpi, and is of the same age.
13. The inner room of the building called the Daļadā Māligawa, 'the Palace of the Tooth-Relic,' at Anuradhapura was probably built early in the fourth century A.D. 14. Tōpāwaewa, the tank at Polannaruwa, was made by King Upa-Tissa I, 370-412 A.d. (Rājāvaliya, p. 54). 15. The Gallery at Sigiriya was built by Kassapa I, 479497 A.D.
16. The Rankot,
Golden-Spire,' dagaba at Polannaruwa was built in the latter part of the twelfth century A.D. 17. The Thūpārāma Hall at Polannaruwa was built in the twelfth century.
18. The wall of the Fortifications at Polannaruwa also belongs to that period.
ca(tu disa sa)gaya niyate. Naka rajaha rajahi mawita. Hail ! Having built the wihāra, the cave of Siva, Guardian of the City Dāgabas, is assigned for the community of the four quarters. Constructed in the reign of King Nāga.
The meaning of Cata is doubtful when qualified by puriha; as the word often stands for caitya in inscriptions I have given it this interpretation. Siva or Siva may have been an official whose duty it was to undertake the repairs, whitewashing, etc., at the Anuradhapura dāgabas.
The following table exhibits the contents and mean dimensions in inches of the bricks used in this series of ancient works. I add also, for comparison, the sizes of the bricks used in the large dagaba at Sanchi in India, which dates from the time. of Aśōka1 (263-222 B.C.), although the measurements are only given roughly by Sir A. Cunningham in his work on The Bhilsa Topes, p. 270.
Because of a reference to the name Cētiya-giri in Turnour's edition of the Mahāvansa i, 49, as the place where Dēvi, the mother of Mahinda and wife of Aśōka lived, and as there was a Buddhist heresy in the fourth century B.C. called 'the Cetiya schism,' Sir A. Cunningham stated his belief that this dāgaba may be as old as 500 B.C.,2 but his argument is not satisfactory. In the first place, the corrected reading of the word in the Mahāvansa is Vēdisa-giri, Vēdisa being mentioned in several of the inscriptions found there; and in the second place, the name Cētiya-giri is not a proof that a dagaba existed there, the early meaning of Cetiya being merely 'a religious building,' and only secondarily a dagaba. The Mahāvansa says plainly that the wihāra at Vēdisa was established by Devi, the wife of Aśōka, who himself left an inscription at it. I look upon the Sanchi bricks as of the greatest interest. They are perhaps the earliest Indian bricks to which a date can be attached, yet their dimensions demonstrate, without any doubt, that others of the same shape had been burnt in India long prior to this date. The measurements bear no definite ratio to each other. The length of the original
1 The Bhilsa Topes, p. 124. The Bhilsa Topes, p. 271, note. They are far from being the earliest Indian bricks, of course. addition to the Greek references to the use of bricks in the structures of the fourth century B.C., the employment of burnt bricks one foot square, for building the altar of Nirriti, the Goddess of Destruction, the mother of Fear, Terror, and Death, is enjoined in the Satapatha Brahmana (vii, 2. 1): They measure a foot square. . . they are unmarked-[an expression which shows that it was the custom to mark some other bricks] . . . they get baked by rice husks . . . they are black.' They were to be laid loosely, evidently not like other bricks— 'he does not settle them-settlement being a firm footing-lest he give a firm footing to evil.' The date of this may be any time in the early part of the pre-Christian millennium.
bricks of this type would almost certainly be fixed at the cubit, like those of Ceylon, and the breadth and thickness would be simple fractions of the length. Yet nearly two inches had already been struck off the length, and probably an equal amount off the breadth when the Sanchi bricks were burnt. I refer here to this Indian question as it is of some value in connection with possible early brickmaking in Ceylon, where this art may have been practised by 300 B.C., if not in the first half of the fourth century B.C., as I have explained in dealing with the first irrigation works.