Indian Archeological Resesarch

Professor Carla Sinopoli | Department of Anthropology, Principal Investigator

Professor Sinopoli is currently co-director of the "Early Historic Landscapes of the Tungabhadra Corridor" (EHLTC) project - a collaborative excavation project based in northern Karnataka in South India. The EHLTC project seeks to understand social, economic, and political lifeways and transformation among agricultural communities in inland South India during the first millennium BC South Indian Iron Age. This was a time of remarkable change in the region. At the start of the Iron Age, around 1200-1000 BC, we see the development of new technologies and burial practices and the creation of large durable sedentary communities; by the end of the period in the late centuries BC, we see the development of urban and state level communities, linked by a web of social, ideological and economic relation to each other and to north Indian states and empires (as well as to Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean). To explore these issues, Sinopoli, her colleagues, and students are conducting excavations at the Iron Age town of Kadebakele, discovered by the team in their prior research in the region. Excavation seasons were held in 2003 and 2005, with at least three more seasons planned for the future. This research is conducted in collaboration with the Karnataka Department of Archaeology and Museums, and with scholars, Dr. Sharada Srinivasan, an archaeometallurgist based at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, and Dr. Kajal Shah, a ceramic specialist and recent PhD from MS University in Vadodara (Baroda). In addition, graduate students from the US and India participate in the field work each year, and three US-based students are pursuing doctoral dissertation research deriving from the project.

An important commitment of our project is the building of collaborative research relations and the training of Indian students in archaeological methods. Between 4-8 Indian graduate students join us in the field each year, coming from universities in Kerala, Delhi, Pune, and Karnataka. Two Indian participants, Ms. Uthara Suvrathan and Mr. Hemanth Kadambi, are currently pursuing doctoral degrees at the University of Michigan. Mr. Kadambi has directed an archaeological project examining the early Chalukyan empire (7-9th centuries AD); Ms. Suvrathan is pursuing doctoral research on the South India Iron Age and has participated in an archaeological project in Kerala. Sinopoli has two other doctoral students also pursuing archaeological research in South Asia.

See CSAS Fall 2011 newsletter




Current Collaborators with Carla M. Sinopoli, Professor, Department of Anthropology


  1. National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore (Dr. Sharada Srinivasan, Research Collaborator)
  2. Karnataka Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (Dr. R. Gopal and Mr. T.S. Gangadhar).


Additional Contacts:

  1. Delhi University, Department of History (Dr. Nayanjot Lahiri – former Dean of International Programs (am not sure if that is the right title), Dr. Upinder Singh, Professor of History and daughter of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh)
  2. Jawharlal Nehru University, Department of History (Dr. Himanshu Ray, Dr. Jaya Menon and others)
  3. Deccan College Post Graduate Research Institute (deemed University), Department of Archaeology, Dr. Shinde
  4. Dr. M.S. Nagaraja Rao, Mysore (retired Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India, very active in coordinating study abroad programs for American students in India)