Vinayak

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Osseous Technologies
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Experimental Archaeology
  • Archaeology of Margin
  • Archaeological Sciences
  • Archaeology for Environmental Sustainability
  • Human-Animal Interaction
  • Organic Microresidue Analysis
  • Traceology, Tribology, Bioarchaeology, Ethnoarchaeology, Zooarchaeological Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS)
  • Isotope Analysis
  • Carbon Dating and Bayesian Modelling

Biography

Vinayak is an experimental archaeologist with wide-ranging interests in archaeozoology, bioarchaeology, tribology, ethnography, and sustainability. He specialises in South Asia’s often-overlooked osseous technologies to understand and contextualise the inequality and injustice in the economies and cultures of the past and how this knowledge can help us move towards the goal of sustainable development with equity. Due to its nature and the social stigma associated with it, the field is largely avoided or ignored by researchers. 

Before arriving at this University, Vinayak first studied at Ramjas College, University of Delhi, India in 2007, where he completed a BA degree in History and Economics. He went on to study for an MA degree in Ancient History at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi, India, in 2009, followed by an MPhil degree with UGC (University Grants Commission) funded junior research fellowship from the same university in 2012, focusing on technological aspects of bone, antler, horn, and ivory objects of the first millennium BCE in north India. 

His PhD, also undertaken at JNU and funded by UGC and ICHR (Indian Council for Historical Research) senior and junior fellowships, followed an integrative and multidisciplinary approach to understand the manufacturing process and functional role of bone and antler arrowheads in the Upper Ganga Plains of the first millennium BCE

This study included an examination of earlier studies of worked osseous materials, the analysis of osseous assemblages from selected archaeological sites of this region, the collection of ethnoarchaeological information from ethnographic sources, the analysis of use-wears, and various experiments performed to know the properties of raw material preparation, stages of carbonisation, carving, and efficacy. 

During his later research, he advanced his expertise in the field of GIS-based mapping and the dating of 14C samples. His research has been published in the field’s top peer-reviewed journals, including Quaternary International and PlosOne, and edited books. He has extensive experience in archaeological survey and excavation as a crew member and supervisor in multiple national and international projects. 

He has earlier held a non-tenure track assistant professor position for around six years at Lakshmibai College and Indraprastha College for Women at the University of Delhi to teach and mentor undergraduate students, emphasising a pedagogy that includes interaction, innovation, inclusion, and a focus on hands-on experience inside and outside the classroom. 

He also actively participated as a team member in organising various conferences, workshops, and outreach programmes to academic and non-academic audiences, such as public archaeology through workshops.

Publications

Journal Articles

Chapters in Edited Books 

Course Material

  • Vinayak. (2020). Rise of Guptas: Economy, Society and Polity. In K. Kumar (Eds.), History of India II (Study Material, pp. 93 – 107), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Delhi, India. ISBN 978939049663. http://egyankosh.ac.in//handle/123456789/67712
  • Vinayak. (2020). Gupta Rajvansh ka Uday: Arthvyavastha, Samaj aur Rajya Vyavastha. In K. Kumar (Eds.), Bharat ka Itihas II (Study Material, pp. 199 – 235), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Delhi, India. http://egyankosh.ac.in//handle/123456789/67742

Magazine Articles

Conference Presentations

  • Vinayak. (2022, November 12). Connecting Microhistory and the Longue Durée: Radiocarbon Dating and the Iron Age-Early Historic Transition in South India. 22nd Congress of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, Chiang Mai, Thailand. 
  • Vinayak. (2021, September 2). Anthropomorphic Osseous Objects from Early Iron Age of The Upper Ganga Plain. 13th meeting of Worked Bone Research Group (WBRG) of International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ), Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. 
  • Vinayak. (2020, March 6). Horn Comb Making: A Dying Craft. International Conference on Craft and Sustainability in South Asia, Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India. 
  • Vinayak. (2019, October 10). State Formation: An Assessment of Osseous Arrowheads in Indo-Gangetic Plains. 13th meeting of Worked Bone Research Group (WBRG) of International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ), Department of Anthropology, University of Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada.
  • Vinayak. (2019, August 27). Making of Stone Age Tools: A Demonstration. History Society, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi, India. 
  • Vinayak. (2018, September 18). Formation of Archaeological Mounds and Their Excavation. History Society, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi, India.
  • Vinayak. (2014, August 27). Possible Smoothening and Polishing Techniques Practiced over Bone and Antler Arrowheads at Iron Age Sites of Atranjikhera and Jakhera. 10th Meeting of Worked Bone Research Group (WBRG) of International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ), Archaeological Institute, Belgrade, Republic of Serbia. 
  • Vinayak. (2013, December 29). Reconstructing the Manufacturing Process and Tracing the Use-Wears of Pre and Early Historic Bone Tang Arrowheads’ by Experiment. 74th Session of Indian History Congress, Cuttack, Odisha, India. 
  • Vinayak. (2011, August 23). Experimental Archaeology: Making of Bone Objects. International Conference on the Archaeology of South Asia, IAWAWSA, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India. 
  • Vinayak. (2010, July 31). Indor Khera Bone, Ivory and Horn Objects: A Case Study. Seminar, International Association for Women Archaeologists Working in South Asia, New Delhi, India. 

Lectures and Workshops

  • Vinayak. (2022, October 14). [Lecture]. Experimental Archaeology and its Implication in the Field of Osseous Materials. Humanities Seminar Series, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. 
  • Vinayak. (2022, October 14). [Workshop]. Exploring the Technologies of Stone Age: An Experimental Workshop. Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
  • Vinayak. (2019, August 27). [Lecture cum live Demonstration]. Making of Stone Age Tools: A Demonstration. History Society, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi, Delhi, India. 
  • Vinayak. (2018, September 18- 2019, September 23). [Lectures]. Formation of Archaeological Mounds and Their Excavation. History Society, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi, Delhi, India.
  • Vinayak. (2020). [Workshop]. Techniques of Early Stone Tool Making. NewsClick and Tricontinental Institute for Social Research, Delhi, India. 

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