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Uthara Suvrathan

Email: [email protected]

Uthara Suvrathan is an archaeologist with a background in History and Anthropology. Her research draws on archaeological and textual material to examine the organization of polities and urban centers on the margins of large socio-political systems and empires in South Asia. She is also interested in archaeological approaches to landscape studies and in issues of pre-modern trade and contact across the Indian Ocean. In addition, she works on issues of museum education, public outreach and the digital humanities, with a particular interest in the sharing of information among researchers, as well as between academics and the wider public.

Academic Qualifications
  • PhD, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
  • Master of Arts (Anthropology), Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
  • Master of Philosophy (Ancient Indian History), Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India.
  • Master of Arts (with a specialization in Ancient Indian history), Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India.
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons.), Department of History, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, Delhi, India.

Understanding India; Ancient India; Archaeology

Areas of Interest/ Research Interests

Pre-modern Archaeology and History (South Asia); Indian Ocean studies; Geographic Information Systems (GIS); Digital Humanities; Teaching archaeology; Landscape Studies; Regional Archaeological Survey; Complex societies; Urbanism; State formation; Museum Studies

Publications and Writings

Articles and Book Chapters (Peer-reviewed)

2021 ‘Bullion, Baubles and Bowls: reconstructing networks of exchange in the Indian Ocean’. In Himanshu Prabha Ray (ed.), Archaeology of Knowledge Traditions of the Indian Ocean World. Routledge.
2019 ‘The Multivalence of Landscapes: Archaeology and heritage’. In Himanshu Prabha Ray (ed.), Decolonising Heritage in South Asia: The Global, the National and the Transnational. New York: Routledge.
2018 ‘The Archaeology of Roof Tiles: A preliminary chronology from Karnataka’. Man and Environment, Vol. XLII, No. 1.
2015 ‘The City in the State’. In Geoff Emberling (ed.), Social Theory in Archaeology and Ancient History: The Present and Future of Counternarratives. Cambridge: University Press. Second author with Carla M. Sinopoli.
2014 ‘Spoiled for Choice?: The sacred landscapes of ancient and early medieval Banavasi’. South Asian Studies, Vol. 30.2.
2014 ‘Regional Centres and Local Elite: Studying peripheral cores in peninsular India’. Indian History (The Annual Journal of the Archive India Institute), Vol. 1.
2013 ‘A Fragmentary Brahmi Inscription from Banavasi’. Puratattva, No. 43, pp. 247-251.
2009 ‘Landscapes of Life and Death: Considering the Region of Vidarbha’. In Upinder Singh, Nayanjyot Lahiri (eds.), Ancient India: New Research. Oxford University Press: New Delhi.


2016 Genealogy, Time and Identity: Historical Consciousness in the Deccan, Sixth Century CE – Twelfth Century CE, by Aruna Pariti (Primus Books, 2016). In South Asian Studies, Vol. 32 (2).
2014 Craft Specialization, Technology and Social Change: A study of material culture in Iron Age and Early Historic South India (c. 1200 BCE – 400 CE), by Gwendolyn Ida Ortner Kelly (Dissertation, University of Madison Wisconsin, 2013).

Non Peer-Reviewed/ Online articles

2020 ‘Color, Graffiti and the Senses: Visitors and Worshippers at Indian Archaeological Sites’. Web blog post. Material Religions.
2017 ‘Tracing the Many Lives of Religious Structures’. Web blog post. Material Religions.
2017 ‘On blogging and archaeology: Why it matters’. Web blog post. Southasian-archaeology
On-going Projects
  • Archaeological and Cartographic Landscapes of the Deccan: Mapping regional organization.
  • Colonial maps/knowledge projects and archaeology
  • Routledge Handbook of the Hindu Temple. Co-editor with Himanshu Prabha Ray and Salila Kulshreshtha
  • Textbook on South Asian archaeology (Routledge). With Namita Sugandhi
  • Associate Editor. Archaeological Research in Asia. Elsevier.

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