Ancient cemeteries that were used before 600 BC and other signs of advanced civilisation have also been discovered in Sri Lanka.
Sinhalese history traditionally starts in 543 BC 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 era spans the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and early Iron Ages.
Moors, Burghers, Malays, Chinese, and the indigenous Vedda are also established groups on the island.
In antiquity, Sri Lanka was known to travellers by a variety of names.
Dutugemunu, the eldest son of the southern regional sub-king, Kavan Tissa, defeated Elara in the Battle of Vijithapura.
During its two and a half millennia of existence, the Sinhala Kingdom was invaded at least eight times by neighbouring South Asian dynasties such as the Chola, Pandya, Chera, and Pallava. The Fourth Buddhist council of Theravada Buddhism was held at the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya in Sri Lanka under the patronage of Valagamba of Anuradhapura in 25 BC.