Harry Charles Purvis Bell

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HCP Bell, ~1890.

Harry Charles Purvis Bell (1851 – 1937), more often known as HCP Bell, was a British civil servant and a commissioner in the Ceylon Civil Service. He was born in British India.


Appointed an official archaeologist,[1] he carried out many excavations in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) for the Archaeological Survey during an appointment running from 1890 to 1912.[2]

After retirement, he also investigated the archaeology and epigraphy of the Maldives, where he had been earlier in his life.[3] and studied the linguistics of the Maldivian language. Bell had developed a good friendship with the king of the Maldives, who put his own royal schooner Fath-ul-Majid at his disposition to carry out archaeological research in certain atolls south of Malé.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Department of Archaeology - History
  2. ^ Robin W. Winks, Alaine M. Low, The Oxford History of the British Empire (1999), p. 244.
  3. ^ [1], [2]
  4. ^ Romero Frías 2003.