Sudharshan Seneviratne speaks at AIA Awards: “Humanising archaeology in multi-cultural society”

Sudharshan Seneviratne, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Peradeniya, won the Archaeological Institute of America’s 2013 Conservation and Heritage Management Award for Excellence at a recent ceremony in Seattle, USA. The institute’s president, Elizabeth Bartman, in her citation said the award was presented in recognition of Prof. Seneviratne’s tireless efforts to protect and preserve the archaeological heritage of Sri Lanka.  “As head of the department of archaeology at the University of Peradeniya for nearly 10 years, Seneviratne has been instrumental in training the next generation of South Asian archaeologists,” Bartman said.  The following is the acceptance speech delivered by Prof. Seneviratne at the awards ceremony:

sudharshan receiving sudharshan deliveringI was honoured to receive a communication from President Bartman stating my name as recipient of the 2013 Award for Best Practice in Conservation and Heritage Management. It also gratified me to note that heritage initiatives carried out in Sri Lanka during the past few decades have been recognised by one of the oldest standing professional bodies of heritage in the world and by the community of global heritage professionals at large.Our commitment towards professional excellence was seen as an investment for the future protecting the tangible, intangible and mixed heritage of humanity. By doing so, we placed a high premium bench-marking best practice for the next generation of archaeologists and heritage managers. Among a wide range of initiatives undertaken I wish to make special reference to: surface, sub-surface and maritime heritage excavation and conservation achievements at World Heritage sites; establishment of state of the art museums unfolding the inclusiveness and diversity of an island society; multiple programs on heritage empowerment, capacity-

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