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Sri Lanka has an enthralling recorded history of civilisation. Its unique and proud historical record of a great civilization spans over 25 chronicled centuries, and is documented primarily in three books; the Mahavamsa (Great Genealogy or Dynasty), Dipavamsa and Culavamsa. Sri Lankan history is distinctive as it has a historical record, which is ancient, continuous and trustworthy, and begins with the occupation of the island by civilised men in 5th century, BC. The story continues under each successive king for over 20 centuries. The Mahavamsa is primarily a dynamic and religious historical record. In addition to this record, there are over 2500 inscriptions in Sri Lanka. The earliest inscriptions are contemporary with the introduction of Buddhism in the 3rd century BC. More than 1000 epigraphs, mostly inscribed on caves, belong to the third, second and first centuries BC, exist in the dry zone as weas in the old caves temples in Colombo, Kegalla, and Kandy.