The Department of Archaeology, University of Peradeniya was established as a separate Department in 1976, is one of the largest Departments in the university system of Sri Lanka. At present, over one hundred undergraduates are following the Special and General Degree courses in Sinhala and English media at the Department. The teaching of archaeology at Peradeniya, was originally introduced as an auxiliary subject to history, as a sub-department, for the purpose of training future archaeological officers required by the state. In 1957, Dr. Senarat Paranavitana on his retirement from the post of Commissioner of Archaeology was appointed as the Professor of Archaeology, which marked the official beginning of the Department of Archaeology, University of Peradeniya. The notable archaeologists, namely, Prof Senarat Paranavitana, Prof. P.L. Prematilleke and Prof. Sudharshan Seneviratne have served in the Department.