Geology unit mainly focuses on application of geo-scientific techniques in archaeological research (Geoarchaeology), investigative research on conservation of tangible cultural heritage (Case studies) and improving and introducing proper scientific conservation techniques and methods suitable to Sri Lankan environment.
Geoarchaeological research at CCF deals with archaeological explorations by the application of geophysical and remote sensing techniques, archaeological excavations by characterization of archaeological earth materials such as cultural soils, stones, minerals and materials made up of earth resources, studying site formation process and geochronological studies of cultural materials such as dating of soils, pottery and bricks.
Though research the laboratory has established the only dating unit in Sri Lanka with TL dating equipment nearly twenty years ago. Presently geochronological research which is essential in archaeological excavations has been delayed due to malfunction of old equipment. One of the main ideas of improving geology unit of the research laboratory is to re-establish the Geochronological research in Sri Lanka.
The geophysical techniques in archaeological explorations are rarely applied in archaeological context and very few cases were noted in the history. Popularizing the different geophysical techniques among the archaeologists of the country is important and it will reduce the cost of manual explorations and excavations.
CCF maintains and monitors five world heritage sites of the country (sacred cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Kandy and Galle). Conservation of monuments in those sites is a highly prioritized activity of CCF and varieties of materials are subjected to and engaged in conservation process. Hence different techniques and methods are to be applied and suitability of the techniques has to be considered in each and every aspect of conservation since most of the monumental pieces are rare, iconic and in some cases those are in danger of deterioration.
Therefore science based research on problem identification in deterioration of tangible cultural heritage, selection of available suitable conservation techniques and/or finding most suitable technique by researching are the most important activities to be performed. Presently conservation activities are being improved and new conservation laboratories are established due to increase of the number of pieces or sites to be conserved.
Presently a range of geo scientific techniques are applied though the unit possess while some of the requirements for research are fulfilled by collaborative work with the other research institutes and universities of the country.