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National Conference: Fortifications and Military Heritage of Sri Lanka

Call for Papers and Posters

Fortifications and Military Heritage of Sri Lanka

1st National Conference on Fortifications and Military Heritage


5th and 6th November 2022

National Conference: Fortifications and Military Heritage of Sri Lanka

International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) has created an International Scientific Committee on Fortifications and Military Heritage (ICOFORT) which is concerned not only with the structures built for military purposes, but also with the landscapes of military and naval actions as well as commemorative monuments both of defence and conflicts. In addition, the heritage associated with such sites and monuments is of interest to ICOFORT given the significance of conflict in shaping human societies and their technologies. The Committee is especially focusing on promotion, understanding, conservation and reuse of military heritage through the drafting of the ICOFORT Charter on Fortifications and Military Heritage which is compiled to guide on protection, conservation and interpretation. ICOFORT is also focused on building institutional links in order to encourage collaborative research on fortifications, particularly in view of their preservation and restoration.

With the setting up of ICOMOS National Scientific Committee on Fortifications and Military Heritage (ICOFORT Sri Lanka) in 2021, the following aspects related to this discipline covering from the early historical period to the mid-20th century have been identified:

•   Sites and structures built or used for military and defensive purposes (field fortifications – masonry and earthworks, fortified buildings and precincts, military [ground, air and naval] bases, different kinds of military accommodation buildings, works of military engineering and other enclaves and constructions associated with military/security such as gravets);

•   Natural Geomorphologic features, landscapes, waterscapes etc. used for military and defensive purposes (including battle grounds, passes, look-outs, marshes, routes connected with defense and offense);

•   Commemorative monuments and military memorabilia (including war memorials, military decorations, trophies, cemeteries, war graves and cenotaphs, and other plaques or markers);

•   The properties/ objects used for military purposes (barracks, fighter-planes, war-ships, cannons, fire-arms, ammunition, swords, armament etc.); 

•   Intangible heritage connected to all these aspects of military heritage (battle tactics and military strategies, military traditions, family names and titles relating to military functions, musical traditions such as war chants and war poems, martial arts etc).

In order to explore and understand above aspects and to discuss protection of fortifications and military heritage of Sri Lanka, ICOFORT Sri Lanka invites scholars, researchers, heritage practitioners, military professionals, and interested individuals including students to exchange and share their research results as well as practical challenges encountered and possible solutions. Those interested are invited to present papers/ exhibit posters at the conference on wider themes mentioned above. Based on the scope above, the papers and posters should focus on the thematic areas mentioned above:

  • Origins of defence architecture in Sri Lanka
  • Identification and documentation of military sites and monuments
  • Technological aspects of military engineering
  • Archaeology of fortifications, battles, and military objects
  • Methodological and multidisciplinary approaches to studying fortified landscapes and military heritage
  • Theoretical and conceptual approaches to historic battle strategies and tactics
  • Socio-cultural impacts of military heritage
  • Origin and development of weapons and armour in Sri Lanka  
  • Protection, conservation and presentation of sites and objects
  • Adaptive re-use and sustainable development of sites and monuments
  • Oral histories and folklore relating to military heritage
  • Military heritage and tourism
  • Role of defence architecture and military engineering in urban planning and development


Submission of Abstracts

The papers intended for presentation at the conference should not have been published or being submitted for any local or international publication. Those who are interested in presenting papers are requested to submit an abstract as per the guidelines given below via theEmail address given in this document.

Abstract Selection Procedure for Paper Presentations

Each abstract will be reviewed for its:

  • clarity
  • theoretical framework
  • methodology
  • originality
  • significance
  • organization

Selection process will be carried out by an expert panel comprising of specialists relating to the field appointed by the organizing committee. Applicants might be requested to revise and re-submit their abstracts based on the comments made by the reviewers, before accepting to proceed further.

Paper Presentations

Each paper is allotted a maximum of 15 minutes for an oral/ PowerPoint presentation and 5 minutes for questions and answers. Medium of communication could be either Sinhala, Tamil or English. Although it is the intention of the organizing committee to hold the conference physically, due to the prevailing difficulties in mobility, it may consider the use of fully on-line or the hybrid mode. Presenters are requested to communicate to the organizing committee their preferred mode of participation at the time of submission of abstracts.


Guidelines for the preparation of Posters

The graphical concepts of the posters shall be in line with the conference theme focussing on one or several thematic areas mentioned above. However, the posters shall help raise awareness of the lesser known aspects of military heritage among the general public and express how this heritage could be of practical significance for social and economic benefits to the local community for effective protection of this particular heritage through community-based participatory approach. The size of the poster shall be 420×600 mm (portrait format). Acceptable tools for drawing/painting include pencil, crayon, watercolor, oil paint, etc. or digital tools. The primary message elements shall be (a) visual image(s) combined with limited degree of text to act as a secondary message element. Posters could be in either black and white or in color. The paper used for the poster is of adequate thickness to allow it to be properly hanged with drawing pins on a display panels provided at the conference venue.   

Submission of Concept Note for the Poster

The posters intended for display at the conference should not have been published or being submitted for any local or international publication. Poster presenters are requested to submit a concept note outlining the objectives and significance of the poster, intended message, the type of primary and secondary message elements intended for use as per the same guidelines applicable to paper presentations, and to submit via the Email address given in this document. The submission of an abstract artwork of the posters is also welcome for the better understanding of the concept but is not compulsory.

Selection Procedure for Concept Note on Poster Presentations

Each concept note will be reviewed for its:

•         originality

•         objective and significance

•         use of visuals and text

•         effectiveness of communicating the message

Selection process will be carried out by an expert panel comprising of specialists in the field appointed by the organizing committee. Applicants may be requested to revise and resubmit their concept notes based on the reviewers’ comments before accepting to proceed further. The final poster shall be submitted as a hard copy to the ICOMOS Secretariat located at the premises of the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology (PGIAR), 407, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07, while the soft copy in pdf (resolution 300dpi approx.) shall be submitted via the email address given in this document.    

Poster Exhibition

The posters will be exhibited at the conference venue on the dates of the conference. They will be exhibited within a space interconnected with that of the paper presentations so that the participants could easily interact with the posters that are exhibited. The poster shall express itself the massage which is intended to be communicated by the presenter. However, maximum of 5 minutes per presenter will be allocated to clarify any queries raised by the panel.  

Publication Opportunities

Conference proceedings will be published as an E-publication of ICOMOS Sri Lanka.

A post-conference publication is further planned where selected abstracts can be submitted by expanding as full papers with the possibility of including it in the international journal index Scopus. The guidelines to prepare the final full paper will be notified later to the selected authors after the conference.

The best posters selected by a panel of expert will be showcased at ICOMOS website. The selected posters are also planned for publication both digitally and as printed posters, by ICOMOS, acknowledging the presenters, for publicity purposes.  


  • Deadline for Abstract / concept note submission –  31st August 2022
  • Informing of Acceptance/Rejection – 15th September 2022
  • Dead line for Posters submission– 31st October 2022
  • Conference – 5th and 6th November 2022

Conference Venue

The Conference will be held at the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology (PGIAR), no. 407, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07.


All correspondence with regard to the submission of the abstracts, final posters, etc. should only be via Email –

For any query with regard to the conference, please contact:

Mr. Chryshane Mendis, Secretary of ICOFORT – SL: 0773404385 Ms. Sonali Premaratne, Administrative Secretary, ICOMOS Sri Lanka: 0701005550