The majority of the population is from the Sinhalese ethnicity, while a large minority of Tamils have also played an influential role in the island's history; Christians in both groups are recent converts who have kept the traditional culture.
Moors, Burghers, Malays, Chinese, and the aboriginal Vedda are also established groups on the island.
Biso Kotuwa, a peculiar construction inside a dam, is a technological marvel based on precise mathematics that allows water to flow outside the dam, keeping pressure on the dam to a minimum.
It maintained close ties with European civilisations including the Roman Empire.
For example, Bhatikabhaya (22 BCE – 7 CE) sent an envoy to Rome who brought back red coral, which was used to make an elaborate netlike adornment for the Ruwanwelisaya.
For Sri Lanka, the ultra-calm head of Kumar Sangakkara will be crucial in the absence of Jayawardene.
The wicketkeeper-cum-batsman is vastly experienced in all forms of the game and boasts a strike rate of 124.46 from nearly 150 appearances.
Ancient cemeteries that were used before 600BC and other signs of advanced civilization has also been discovered in Sri Lanka.
Sinhalese history traditionally starts in 543 BCE with the arrival of Prince Vijaya, a semi-legendary prince who sailed with 700 followers to Sri Lanka, after being expelled from Vanga Kingdom (present-day Bengal).
The 19th-century Irish historian James Emerson Tennent theorized that Galle, a city in southern Sri Lanka, was the ancient seaport of Tarshish from which King Solomon is said to have drawn ivory, peacocks, and other valuables.
According to the Mahāvamsa, a chronicle written in Pāḷi, the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka are the Yakshas and Nagas.
Sri Lankan monarchs undertook some remarkable construction projects such as Sigiriya, the so-called "Fortress in the Sky", built during the reign of Kashyapa I of Anuradhapura, who ruled between 477 and 495.