Archeology / Earthquake Evidence

2300BC± 200y

Event #5185: Land subsidence, Sri Lanka

Stable URL:

Geographical sites:

  • Ceylon (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #50298)
    Pleiades_icon Taprobane/Palaisimoundou/Salike (island) island Geocontext: Sri Lanka Pāli: Tambapaṇṇi Skt.: pāra-samudra?
    Description: The island of Sri Lanka.


Text #9024

Mandelkehr. The 2300 BC Event. Series: The 2300 BC Event. Vol. 1
[p. 79]

There may also have been a land subsidence around 2300 BC in south India. The higher sea level relative to the land areas as a result of the subsidence would then have resulted in the perceived separation of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) from the mainland. The evidence for the subsidence in this case is both ancient traditions and geological evidence. According to the Singhalese tradition in Sri Lanka, 1844 years before the Buddhist era, a major geological event is said to have occurred which severed Sri Lanka from the Indian Mainland. 1Assuming the Buddhist era started at his death at 483 BC, the event would be dated at 2327 BC. The regional subsidence is supported by independent Indian Brahmanical records that state that numerous islands in the Indian Ocean were overwhelmed by the sea in 2387 BC.2 […]

The region around southern India and Sri Lanka is seismically active. The general conclusion from radiocarbon dating of offshore coral reefs and shell deposits on Sri Lanka is that a number of oscillations occurred around the time period of interest, with uplifts possibly occurring 500 to 1000 years both before and after 2300 BC, thus supporting a subsidence between those two times. 3

  1. T. De Lacouperie: “Ashunnak and the Flood of Umliash”, Babylonian and Oriental Record Vol. 6 (1894), p. 77.

  2. H. Williams: Ceylon, Pearl of the East, (Robert Hale, 1965), p. 15.

  3. J. Katupotha, K. Fujiwara: “Holocene Sea Level Change on the Southwest and South Coasts of Sri Lanka”, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology Vol. 68 (1988), pp. 189-203; see also J. Katupotha, N. P. Wijayananda: “Chronology of Inland Shell Deposits on the Southern Coast of Sri Lanka”, Quaternary Research Vol. 32 (1989), pp. 222-228; and A. V. N. Sarma: “Upper Pleistocene and Holocene Ecology of East Coastal South India”, in K. A. R. Kennedy, L. L. Possehl (eds): Ecological Backgrounds of South Asian Prehistory, (Cornell University, (1973), p. 187.

Please view our Legal Notice before you make use of this Database.

See also our Credits page for info on data we are building upon.