Factors associated with ancient language dominate a particular place in the clear and accurate socialization of historical information. Although the Mahavamsa is one of the most important sources of historical information on Sri Lanka, it is still possible to identify ancient sources that confirm its contents and identify the historical events that have been missed in the Mahavamsa. All these documents are commonly referred to as ‘epigraphs’ in the Sinhalese. The earliest evidence of the use of letters in Sri Lanka is found in research carried out at Salgahawatta, Anuradhapura. Accordingly, it has been confirmed that our ancestral characters were used as far back as 500-600 BC. The letters thus found are those inscribed on clay pots. The above finding is a clear example of the fact that Sri Lankans were already aware of the alphabet, even though the formal writing tradition of the country overlapped with the arrival of Mahinda. Inscriptions on stone background, as well as clay tablets, copper plates, bricks, old coins, wood, glass, etc., are all known as inscriptions. Apart from the inscriptions, all the historical records such as Sannas, sheets, palms leaf manuscripts, clay tablets, etc. are described under the inscriptions. The Inscriptions are important as the oldest surviving major source for the study of Sri Lankan history. From the very name of the inscription, it is clear that it is a type of inscription written on a rock surface. The inscriptions may have been chosen for the purpose of maintaining these offerings as long as the sun and moon, as many gifts have been made through the inscriptions. Furthermore, the possibility of their rapid decay naturally without any external influences may have contributed to the prevalence of inscriptions in the original Brahmi script. The earliest reference to Sri Lankan inscriptions in recent history is made by Robert Knox’s reference to the stone inscription at the Gadaladeniya Temple.Robert Knox writes in his book, An Historical Relation of the Island of Ceylon, about his time as a prisoner in Sri Lanka.
“Here are some ancient inscriptions carved on the rocks that amaze everyone who sees them. There are various rocks in different parts of the country in the upcountry and in the north. These notes are engraved in large capital letters on the rocks, as indicated by the number of bamboos spread over the ayam. No one can read them or understand what they are.”
Senarath Paranavithana has pointed out the reason that the oldest inscriptions in the country belong to the 3rd century BC due to the identification and confirmation of a trio of cave inscriptions belonging to King Uththiya around Mihintale. Inscriptions usually have either left-to-right or left-to-right lines. These inscriptions also include first-line text written from left to right and then second text descends from the right to left. Apart from these forms, inscriptions with other different shapes are also less recognizable.