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Department of Archaeology



Jason Hawkes has a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Durham, an MA in South Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and a PhD in South Asian Archaeology from the University of Cambridge.  He has carried out fieldwork in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, in particular India, Nepal and Pakistan; and was the Finds Officer at the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, where he worked for 6 years, before working at both Aarhus University and The British Museum.    



  • Historical archaeology
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Archaeology of religion
  • Archaeology of urbanism
  • Archaeological ceramics, and architectural and sculptural analyses

My research examines the relationships between religion and society, cultural and environmental interactions, and the development of urbanism. I focus on South Asia and neighbouring Himalayan and Indian Ocean regions, during the ancient and medieval periods (c. 500 BCE to 1500 CE). I am also concerned with historiographies of archaeological practice and the role of modern ideologies in the writing of Asian histories.

I am currently involved in research in Central India. Here, I am investigating the archaeological contexts of early land-grant charters, issued by the Gupta kings and their contemporaries, to develop a better understanding of the societal underpinnings and socio-economic impacts of a new model of Hindu kingship that spread across South Asia during the early centuries CE.



Key publications: 

[1] Hawkes, J., & Abbas, R. (2016) ‘Copperplates in Context’, Pratnatattva, 22: 41-71 

[2] Hawkes, J. (2014) ‘Finding the Early Medieval in South Asian Archaeology’, Asian Perspectives, 53(1): 53-96.

[3] Hawkes, J. & Shimada, A. eds. (2009) Buddhist Stupas in South Asia: Recent Archaeological, Art Historical, and Historical Perspectives. Delhi: Oxford University Press.


Other publications: 

[1] Hawkes, J., Abbas, R., Shete, G. & Willis, M. (2017) ‘A Newly Discovered Iron Age settlement at Chachondi, District Amravati, Maharashtra’, Puratattva, Bulletin of the Indian Archaeological Society, 46: 114-125.

[2] Hawkes, J. (2016) ‘Religious Transformations in Vindhya Pradesh’. In U. Franke & V. Widorn eds., Contextualizing Material Culture in South and Central Asia in Pre-Modern Times. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 323-337.

[3] Hawkes, J., Abbas, R., & Willis, M. (2016) ‘Report of the Archaeological Survey of Chamak and its Surroundings, District Amaravati, Maharashtra’, Ancient Asia, 7: 1-7

[4] Rabett, R., Ludgate, N., Stimpson, C., Hill, E., Hunt, C., Ceron, J., Farr, L., Morley, M., Reynolds, T., Zukswert, H., Simpson, D., Nyiri, B., Verhoeven, M., Appleby, J., Meneely, J., Phan, L., Dong, N-N., Lloyd-Smith, L., Hawkes, J., Blyth, A., & Nguyêń C. T. (2016) ‘Tropical Limestone Forest Resilience and late Pleistocene Foraging During MIS-2 in the Trang An Massif, Vietnam’, Quaternary International, 417: 1-20.

[5] Hawkes, J. (2015) ‘Kingship, Buddhism and the Forging of a Region: Medieval Pilgrimage in West Nepal’, Room One Thousand [online], 3. URL:

[6] Hawkes, J. (2015) ‘Passage to India: Locating South Asia in the Indian Ocean world during the early medieval period’, Journal of Indian Ocean Archaeology, 10: 1-24.

[7] Hawkes, J. & Wynne-Jones, S. (2015) ‘India in Africa: Trade Goods and Connections of the Late First Millennium’, Afriques [online], 6. URL:

[8] Hawkes, J. (2014) ‘Bharhut as an Archaeological Area’. In D.K. Chakrabarti & M. Lal eds., History of Ancient India, Volume IV: Political History and Administration. New Delhi: Aryan Books, pp. 351-366.

[9] Hawkes, J. (2014) ‘Chronological Sequences and the “Problem” of Early Medieval Settlement in India’, Puratattva, Bulletin of the Indian Archaeological Society, 44: 208-228.

[10] Hawkes, J. & Wynne-Jones, S. (2014) ‘India in Africa’. In S. Sindbaek & A. Trakidakis eds., The World in the Viking Age. Roskilde: The Viking Ship Museum, p.64.

[11] Hawkes, J. (2014) ‘One size does not fit all: Landscapes of Religious Change in Central India’, South Asian Studies, 30(1): 1-15.

[12] Hawkes, J., Alvey, B., Evans, C., Harward, T., & Kunwar, R. (2012) ‘Finding the Khasa Malla: Preliminary Investigations of the Surkhet Valley, West Nepal’, Ancient Nepal, 179: 1-14.

[13] Hawkes, J. (2011) ‘A Re-assessment of the Buddhist Stupa Site of Bharhut’, Pragdhara: Journal of the Directorate of Archaeology, Uttar Pradesh, 19: 75-87.

[14] Rabett, R., Appleby, J., Blyth, A., Farr, L., Gallou, A., Griffiths, T., Hawkes, J., et al. (2011) ‘Inland shell midden site-formation: Investigation of a Late Pleistocene to Early Holocene Island Shell Midden from Tràng An, Northern Vietnam’, Quaternary International, 239: 153-169.

[15] Hawkes, J. (2010) ‘Bharhut and its Wider Regional Context’. In P. Callieri and L. Colliva eds., South Asian Archaeology 2007, BAR International Series 2133. Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 133-143.

[16] Hawkes, J. (2010) ‘Samian Ware’. In H. Cancik & H. Sneider eds., Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity, Vol. 15. Leiden: Brill Publishers, col. 1043.

[17] Hawkes, J. (2009) ‘The Wider Archaeological Contexts of the Buddhist Stupa Site of Bharhut’. In J. Hawkes & A. Shimada eds., Buddhist Stupas in South Asia: Recent Archaeological, Art Historical, and Historical Perspectives. Delhi: OUP, pp. 146-174.

[18] Hawkes, J. & Shimada, A. (2009) ‘Approaches to the Study of Buddhist Stupas’. In J. Hawkes & A. Shimada eds., Buddhist Stupas in South Asia: Recent Archaeological, Art Historical, and Historical Perspectives. Delhi: OUP, pp. xi-xli.

[19] Hawkes, J. (2008) ‘Bharhut: A Re-Assessment’, South Asian Studies, 24: 1-14.



Teaching and Supervisions


I am involved in the teaching of the following courses:

  • Paper A1: World Archaeology
  • Paper A12: Archaeological Theory and Practice 2
  • Paper A24: The Medieval Globe
  • Paper A31: Ancient South Asia (I: The Indus Civilisation; and II: Early Historic South Asia)
  • Paper G06: Medieval Europe on a Global Canvas
  • Paper G09: Ancient South Asia


Other Professional Activities

Senior Editor, Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Anthropology

Associate Editor, South Asian Studies

Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London

Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society

Job Titles

Director of Studies, Gonville and Caius College

General Info

Available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Artefact Analysis & Technology
Art and Iconography
Cultural Evolution
Field Methods
Epigraphy & Paleography
Environmental Archaeology, Geoarchaeology, and Landscape studies
Cultural Heritage

Contact Details

Department of Archaeology
Downing Street


Material Culture
Rethinking Complexity
Geographical areas: 
South Asia
Southeast Asia
Periods of interest: 
Iron Age
Other Historical