|INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE EDUCATION & RESEARCH, MOHALI|
Asstt. Prof. (Humanities)
Knowledge city, Sector 81, SAS Nagar,
Manauli PO 140306
After completing my B.A., M.A. and PhD degrees from the USA, India and UK, respectively, I worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Stone Age Institute (USA) and as a Fulbright Fellow at Deccan College in India. My main expertise and interest are in stone tool technology and comparing the South Asian evidence with other regions of the Old World. Currently, I am trying to understand human evolution in central India through the Narmada Basin Paleoanthropology Project which I am co-directing with the M.S. University of Baroda. The project’s main goal is to understand (from a multidisciplinary perspective) patterns of human occupation and adaptations in the region over the span of at least one million years and also search for additional hominin fossils. Through multidisciplinary Indian and international collaborations, the Narmada stone tool evidence will be integrated with the fossil vertebrate evidence and diverse datasets through paleoenvironmental reconstructions and geochronological applications. We are also applying GIS and other related tools for comprehensive documentation of sites as well as attempting predictive modeling of artifact and fossil occurrences. During the pursuit of my doctoral degree, I have also carried out research in the Siwalik Hills, work which is ongoing and involves targeting different types of paleoanthropological datasets to investigate a possible hominin presence in South Asia older than the Acheulean (i.e., older than 1.5 million years). If such evidence is recovered, it would confirm India’s role as an important eco-biogeographic corridor for faunal as well as hominin technological and biological dispersals from the western Old World to Southeast Asia around 2 million years ago. In addition to this Paleolithic research work, I am also analyzing microlithic stone tools from Harappan and Medieval contexts through collaboration in others’ projects. I am also particularly interested in flintknapping and utilizing the resulting stone tools to understand the roles of culture, function, technology and raw material selection, and the associated impacts on such materials as stone, wood and bone.