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Balangoda Man (Homo sapiens balangodensis[1]) refers to hominins from Sri Lanka’s late Quaternary period.[2] The term was initially coined to refer to anatomically modern Homo sapiens from sites near Balangoda that were responsible for the island’s Mesolithic ‘Balangoda Culture’.[2][3] The earliest evidence of Balangoda Man from archaeological sequences at caves and other sites dates back to 38,000 BP,[4] and from excavated skeletal remains to 30,000 BP, which is also the earliest reliably dated record of anatomically modern humans in South Asia.[5][6][7] Cultural remains discovered alongside the skeletal fragments include geometric microliths dating to 28,500 BP, which together with some sites in Africa is the earliest record of such stone tools.[2][6]

Balangoda Man is estimated to have had thick skulls, prominent supraorbital ridges, depressed noses, heavy jaws, short necks and conspicuously large teeth.[2][8] Metrical and morphometric features of skeletal fragments extracted from cave sites that were occupied during different periods have indicated a rare biological affinity over a time frame of roughly 16,000 years, and the likelihood of a biological continuum to the present-day Vedda indigenous people.