SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Annual Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology


Date: 7 December 2019Time: 9:30 AM

Finishes: 7 December 2019Time: 4:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B104

Type of Event: Symposium

About the Symposium

The Annual Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology was established to commemorate the work of Raymond and Bridget Allchin, and the outstanding contribution that they made to development of South Asian studies in the United Kingdom. It is sponsored by the Ancient India and Iran Trust.

The United Kingdom is currently home to the largest community of scholars working on South Asia outside of South Asia itself. Yet, until recently, there has been no regular forum to meet, exchange ideas and share research. The Annual Allchin Symposium provides an opportunity to bring together UK-based scholars working in South Asian Archaeology, and also those researching South Asian History and the History of Art and Architecture, including established lecturers, museum curators, post-doctoral researchers and graduate students. It creates a much-needed forum for the presentation and discussion of current research as well as methodological and theoretical concerns that affect research in South Asia. Discussions will strengthen existing research, foster new ideas and promote synergies between different areas, periods and subjects of study. This will be of great benefit to staff and students alike, many of whom work as isolated researchers within larger departments and institutions where the needs and questions relevant to the study of ancient South Asia do not necessarily correspond with mainstream agendas, and, at times, are overlooked. This is especially critical now that the British Academy has withdrawn its funding for South Asian Studies, and scholars of South Asia are being asked to compete for funding on an increasingly uneven playing field.

Abstracts for the talks will be made available for all attendees on the day itself.

The cost of registration is £15. It will be possible to register on the day, but early registration is strongly encouraged for us to ensure adequate catering. You can do this electronically, or over the telephone by contacting the Ancient India and Iran Trust. To do so, please email Munizha Ahmad-Cooke at the Ancient India and Iran Trust at, or telephone 01223 356841 (Monday-Friday 9:30-13:00).

All other enquiries should be addressed to the organisers at

Jason Hawkes, The British Museum
Crispin Branfoot, SOAS University of London


09:30 – 10:00 Registration
10:00 – 10:30 Akshyeta Suryanarayan (University of Cambridge)
Study of organic residues in pottery from the Indus Civilisation in northwest India
10:30 – 11:00 Adam Green (University of Cambridge)
Remembering obligations: stamp seals, debt and balanced reciprocity in the Indus Civilization (c.2600-1900 BC)
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee / tea
11:30 – 12:00 Mudit Trivedi (University of Chicago)
In the looking glass: New results on the archaeometry of Indian glass from medieval Indor
12:00 – 12:30 Yannick Laurent (University of Oxford)
In the Footsteps of Kim: The Ancient Monastery of the Capital of Spiti
12:30 – 13:00 Laxshmi Greaves (Cardiff University)
Rāma’s Birth, Childhood and Coming of Age Imagined on the Kāmākṣamma Temple at Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 14:30 Kulamitra David Zukas (SOAS University of London)
Bhaja, Bedsa and Karla as Sites of Transition: From Itinerant Buddhist Life to Settled Monasticism
14:30 – 15:00 Kajal Meghani (The British Museum and Brighton University)
Finding South Asian Collectors at the British Museum
15:00 – 16:00 Discussion, with tea/coffee

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