1st-3rd Century AD - Lanka

Ruhuna - Copper Rods

Rods with rounded ends which were used for applying antimony makeup on the eyelids. They have also been found in Anuradhapura and excavations at Taxila which are dated to 4th century BC. The broken halfs found in Akurugoda in area of Tissamaharama.

Length36.5 mm
40.3 mm
Diameter7.5/4.0 mm
6.7/3.5 mm
Weight6.09 gms
5.51 gms
Specimen 1 : Broken half with club end placed to left
Specimen 2 : Thinner Broken half showing more corrosion with pointed end placed to right.

They are listed under Miscellaneous Objects : Antimony Rods in the 1999 catalog by Osmund Bopearachchi and Rajah Wickramasinhe titled Ruhuna. An Ancient Civilization Re-visited . They list (N.36-N.47) a dozen complete straight rods which range in length from 134-78 mm and weights from 19-11 gms with no prefered length or weight. Listings (N.48-N.51) are twisted and bent over to point in same direction. Listings (N.52-N.53) have other head indicating that they had other applications. The first for cleaning ear wax similar to spoon listed in this collection. The broken copper rod halfs above were both obtained directly from the same collector who provided most of the items for that book.

Qualitative X-ray fluorescence analysis of surface detected no Antimony even as a impurity like Lead and iron in the copper. The popular name must have come from some proto-types, or this rod is not as it appears.

The copper rods were scanned at 300 dpi and displayed at 300 dpi. They were obtained in 2001 December from Mr A. Ratnayaka a collector in Katharagama, Lanka.