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HCP Bell

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Title: HCP Bell  
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Subject: Laamu Atoll, Dhevvadhoo, Dhanbidhoo, Gan (Laamu Atoll), Culture of the Maldives, Maldivian writing systems, Maldivian folklore, Haddhunmathi Atoll, Maldivians
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

HCP Bell

Harry Charles Purvis Bell (1851 – 1937), more often known as HCP Bell, was a British civil servant and a commissioner in the Ceylon Civil Service. He was born in British India.

Appointed an official archaeologist,[1] he carried out many excavations in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), for the Archaeological Survey, during an appointment running from 1890 to 1912.[2]

After retirement, he also investigated the archaeology and epigraphy of the Maldives, (see Evolution of the Judiciary in the Maldives), where he had been earlier in his life.[3] and studied the linguistics of Divehi. Bell had developed a good friendship with the king of the Maldives, who put his own royal schooner Fath-ul-Majid at his disposition to carry out archaeological research in certain atolls south of Male.[4]


  • The Máldive Islands: An account of the Physical Features, History, Inhabitants, Productions and Trade. Colombo 1883
  • The Maldive Islands. Report on a Visit to Málé, Colombo, 1921.
  • The Maldive Islands. Monograph on the History, Archaeology, and Epigraphy, Colombo, 1928.
  • The Máldive Islands. Monograph on the History, Archæology, and Epigraphy with W. L. De Silva, Colombo 1940.
  • Excerpta Maldiviana, Colombo 1940.


  • Bethia N. Bell and Heather M. Bell (1993), H. C. P. Bell: Archaeologist of Ceylon and the Maldives


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