Sinhala (Sri Lanka)Tamil (Sri Lanka)
Bowl for religious usage

Abhayagiri monastery, Anuradhapura

2nd-3rd century

Bronze: interior lined with a copper sheet

Diameter: 14.5 cm

 Excavated in 1987 on the site of an ancient foundry,

Which was located in the monastery compound, this bowl was probably made to contain water for sprinkling during the ritual of worship. On the outside, the artist had designed a decorative band consisting of eight auspicious signs separated by pilasters. The emblems can be recognized as: elephant’s hook, fly whisks srivasta (a symbol of good fortune), vase, conch, svastika, throne and a pair of fish. These eight symbols were well understood to indicate the scared nature of objects, not only in Sri Lanka but also on the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere in Asia.

Nevertheless, this bowl had apparently never found its way to a shine, but remained in the workshop until the time of its recent discovery