Sanjyot Mehendale
Lecturer, Department of Near Eastern Studies and Buddhist Studies, University of California , Berkeley

Dr. Sanjyot Mehendale is an archaeologist specializing in trade and cultural exchange of the early Common Era. She received a degree in Indo-Iranian art and archaeology from the Rijks university of Leiden, The Netherlands. In 1992, she entered the doctoral program at the University of California at Berkeley focusing on 'Silk Road" trading networks. In 1997, she completed a dissertation on the Begram (Afghanistan) objects, which included a reexamination of, and ultimately new interpretations about, the nature of the finds, as well as a complete catalogue of the extensive ivory and bone objects discovered at the site. She teaches on the Silk Roads and Central Asiain the Department of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley.

In 2007, she was hired as a consultant by National Geographic Society to help structure the Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul exhibition as well as to contribute to the accompanying catalogue. In 2010, she became the Vice Chair of the Center for Buddhist Studies. She has conducted archaeological research in Armenia, Uzbekistan and, off and on since 1996, in Sri Lanka where she is currently working on several archaeological projects with Prof. Osmund Bopearachchi including a survey of ancient Buddhist and commercial sites, and an excavation of a shipwreck off the southern coast of the island in collaboration with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M and the Sri Lanka Department of Archaeology.

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