The United States said it was giving 82,192 dollars to Sri Lanka to preserve Asia’s oldest shipwreck found, Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement said.
The shipwreck was found by divers off the coast of Godavaya village in 2003.
It is believed to be about 2000 years old and one of the oldest sunken vessels to be discovered in the world.
“By documenting the important role that Sri Lanka has played as a hub for the Indo-Pacific region’s travelers and traders from its earliest days, the United States hopes to help preserve and promote Sri Lanka’s magnificent cultural heritage,” Julie Chung, America’s Ambassador in Sri Lanka has said.
The statement said the grant will fund documentation and preservation of the shipwreck.
The shipwreck is located near Hambantota port, it includes a mound of corroded metal bars and a scattering of other ancient cargo, including glass ingots and pottery.
Once the project has been completed, artifacts will be on display to the public in the Maritime Archeological Museum in Galle.
The statement said the U.S. has funded such projects in Sri Lanka since 2001 spending a total of 1,387,294 dollars via its U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation program,
Grants provided for similar projects are the documentation of the Western monasteries at the World Heritage Site of Anuradhapura, the conservation of the Rajagala Buddhist forest monastery, the preservation of Buddhist, Hindu, and other collections in the Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum, the restoration of the Batticaloa Dutch Fort, the preservation of the ritual music and dance forms of the Adivasi, Tamil, and Buddhist communities and the conservation of a 17th century Kandyan Kings’ Palace in Kandy.