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twice or thrice afterwards in the histories, and especially as that of a reservoir which was greatly enlarged by Parakrama-Bāhu I, whence it acquired the name Parakkam Samuddā, 'The Parakrama Sea' (Mah., ii, p. 148). As the context shows that it was not in the part of Ceylon over which his cousin Gaja-Bahu ruled at that time, it may be the great abandoned tank now called Pandik-kulam, in the southern part of the Uva Province, which I have not examined. It is certainly not Paṇḍā-waewa, in the Northwestern Province.
The measurements of the bricks at some reservoirs of smaller size indicate that they also are of early date; but it is unnecessary in a work of this nature to give a description of such tanks, which cannot be identified in the histories.
Although other works of great interest were constructed at a later period, I include in the present account only the more important schemes which can be shown to have been originated in pre-Christian times.
THE ALLEKAṬṬu Dam
In addition to the Malwatta-oya dam for turning water into Nuwara-waewa, and the Kirindi-oya dam for supplying water to the Māgama tanks, I know of only one other preChristian masonry dam across a river in Ceylon. It is termed in Tamil the Allekaṭṭu, and is built across the Kallāṛu, the river that flows from the breaches in Pāvat-kulam, and forms the principal feeder of the Malwatta-oya in the Northern Province. The dam is two miles above the road bridge over the Kallāru on the road from Mannār to Madawachchiya.
The evidence of its age depends chiefly upon the sizes of the bricks found at it, but partly also on the primitive style of the design. The bricks measure 9.45 inches in breadth, and 3.0 inches in thickness; Bt. is thus 28.3 inches. If the length was 18 inches, the contents would become 510 cubic inches. It is clear that they belong to the period when these large bricks were burnt, in the second half of the second century B.C., or the early part of the first century.
The dam, which is roughly but substantially built, is carried
in a north-and-south direction square across the general line of the river, along a ridge of gneiss. It follows the highest line of the rock, and in consequence has two slight bends. Many of the outer stones are roughly dressed, and nearly all are
wedged into a shape that in section bears at least some affinity to a rectangle. The inner work consists only of round or shapeless boulders, apparently laid without mortar; they may have been embedded in clay, like those at some other works. All the stone was obtained in the bed of the river, close to the site.
The discharging length is 220 feet. The down-stream face is from three to six feet high, and has no batter; it consists of two, three, or four courses. The top of the dam, which is horizontal throughout, is 19 feet wide in the northern part where it is complete, and is formed of six roughly-parallel rows of flat and partly dressed slabs. The northern end has an abutment which is four feet high, and two courses were similarly built at the southern end, with a slight backing of wedged stones and boulders.
Although founded on rock, it was breached by floods in two places, and a third cut was made by them round the southern end.
A small channel was cut on each bank for conveying water to some irrigable land, or perhaps for filling some village tanks lower down the valley.
Four miles higher up the river another early stone dam,
called the Kurinjā-kuļam Tēkkam, was also built. It is of a rougher type than the last, but may be of later date. Only bricks of a smaller and later size than those at the other work are found at it. A mark of its later date is the upward slope of the top from the up-stream face to the overfall.
This dam is 266 feet long, 20 feet wide at the top, and from 7 to 10 feet high. It consists of roughly-laid gneiss blocks, nearly all being uncut and many being unwedged, which were gathered in the river, close to the work. The down-stream face has a considerable batter. Though rough in construction this dam is still unbreached, but the river has cut a new course for itself down the southern channel that was opened from it, re-entering its former bed after flowing down it for some 800 feet.
Probably there are other works of this kind, of pre-Christian age; but in the absence of bricks of the period of their formation there is no way of identifying them. It is certain that the number is small, since nearly all the river dams of Ceylon exhibit a later type of construction, and consist of masonry laid in lime mortar.
As all the works that I have described are the earliest schemes of the kind, in Ceylon or elsewhere, which can be identified, I have thought it advisable to give exact measurements of them as far as they are available, so as to preserve these in a form suitable for reference by engineers or others who study this subject. The general reader of course cannot be expected to feel much interest in these details, many of which, were they not inserted here, would be lost for ever.