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|• Total||840 sq mi (2,180 km2)|
|Elevation||62 ft (19 m)|
|• Total||79,618 in 2,011|
It used to be the capital of the Sinhalese Kingdom of Ruhuna as early as the 3rd century B.C. Only few buildings from that period can still be seen today. The presence ordinary early Tamils in Tissamaharama was confirmed following archaeological excavations in 2010. The Tissamaharama Tamil Brahmi inscription, a fragment of black and red ware flat dish inscribed in Tamil in the Tamil Brahmi script was excavated at the earliest layer in the southern town.
The large artificial Tissa Wewa lake, which was a part of a sophisticated irrigation system, also dates from that time. There are five main lakes in the vicinity of Tissamaharama: Tissa Wewa; Yoda Wewa; Weerawila Wewa; Pannegamuwa Wewa; and Debarawewa Wewa.
The archaeological excavations have brought to light earliest urban phase in the 4th century BC where fired bricks have been used for the first time in the construction, Buddhist saddle querns dating back to 3rd century BC, a potsherd with triangular sail excavated from the layer of 1st century BC but on stylistic grounds assigned to 3rd century BC, a hospital from 1st century AD-2nd century AD, which is the earliest in all of south asia, stone paved streets with drains and water channels dated before the common era, roof tiles, houses with plastered exterior etc.
- Mahathevan, Iravatham (24 June 2010). "An epigraphic perspective on the antiquity of Tamil". The Hindu. The Hindu Group. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
- Ragupathy, P (28 June 2010). "Tissamaharama potsherd evidences ordinary early Tamils among population". Tamilnet. Tamilnet. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
- Weisshaar, Hans-Joachim. Hans-Joachim Weisshaar / Helmut Roth / W. Wijeyapala (eds.), Ancient Ruhuna. Sri Lankan – German Archaeological Project in the Southern Province, Vol. 1 (= Materialien zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Archäologie, Band 58). Mainz: Philipp von Zabern.
- Weisshaar, Hans-Joachim. "Ancient Tissamaharama: the formation of urban structures and growing commerce". S. Tripati (ed.), Maritime Contacts of the Past: Deciphering Connections Amongst Communities, pp. 208-228. New Delhi: Delta Book World.
- Weisshaar, Hans-Joachim. "Legged Saddle Querns of South Asia". Zeitschrift für Archäologie Aussereuropäischer Kulturen 6: 119-144.
- Weisshaar, Hans-Joachim. "How to get water, and how to dispose? Water Management in an Early Urban Society of South Asia". C. Nickel / H.-J. Weisshaar / A. M. Shadullah / S. A. Shafi, (eds.), Man and Water. Seminar on Archaeology, Supply and Sanitation in Bangladesh and Beyond, pp. 23-32. Goethe-Institut. Dhaka.
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