Professor Department of History, University of Delhi
Prof. Nayanjot Lahiri is an exceptional scholar and her wide-ranging work on the past and present illuminates many aspects even of contemporary Indian life. Her research interests include Indian archaeology, archeological theory, heritage studies and ancient India. She has several research papers and publications to her credit ; a historical analysis of the ancient inscriptions of Assam (1991), which remains unparalleled in quality ; her work on resource mobilization and routes of access in proto-historic and early historic India (1992) deals with archaeological and historical data, and their geological dimensions and integration into the ethnographic aspects of their distribution ; she has edited a volume on the decline of the Indus civilization and co-edited a special issue of World Archaeology, on the archaeology of Hinduism ; she related the Indian copper-bronze metallurgical data to India’s sacred traditions.
A major offshoot of Prof. Lahiri’s archival research in the history of archaeology is a detailed focus on the monument policy of British and independent India. One of her enquiries identified how Bodh Gaya and Sanchi were converted into a single religious site, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and through that process effectively lost their multi-cultural status. This is an important clue to understanding many archaeological sites of religious significance in India.
Prof. Lahiri has authored many books such as Finding Forgotten Cities: How the Indus Civilization Was Discovered, The Decline and Fall of the Indus Civilization, The Archaeology of Indian Trade Routes (upto c. 200 B.C.) Resource Use, Resource Access and Lines of Communication and Pre-Ahom Assam: Studies in the inscriptions of Assam between the fifth and the thirteenth centuries AD. Her qualifications include a M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. from the University of Delhi. Her prior appointments include Reader at the Department of History, University of Delhi (1982- 1993) and Lecturer at the Department of History, Hindu College, University of Delhi.