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Department of Archaeology



After studying archaeology, anthropology and religion at the Universities of Durham, SOAS and Cambridge I spent six years working in the commercial archaeological sector managing the Cambridge Archaeological Unit’s Finds Laboratory. Following this, I spent two years at Aarhus University as a postdoctoral researcher in medieval archaeology and a further six years as a curator in the Asia Department at The British Museum. I also lectured in the Department of Archaeology at Cambridge for three years before moving to Gonville and Caius College in 2021, first as a Bye-Fellow and more recently as a College Lecturer in Archaeology. During this time, I have developed over 16 years of experience in teaching and the pastoral care of both undergraduate students and postgraduate researchers.


My research is in the field of historical and landscape archaeology, museums and heritage, focussing on South and Southeast Asia. My interests concentrate on the relationships between religion and society, cultural interaction and urbanism; and the memory and meaning of the past in the present. My work combines the examination of material culture with geographical data, textual sources, as well as architectural and sculptural remains. Currently, I am working in Central India as part of the French National Research Agency-funded 'Mandu: Landscapes and Waterscapes of Asia' project. Here, we are (a) investigating the city’s original hydraulic system that Islamic rulers used to harness the monsoon rains; and (b) working with the local Adivasi (tribal) population who continue to live amongst the ruins of this ‘abandoned’ city to record their traditional subsistence strategies.

Key Publications

Key publications: 

Hawkes, J., R. Abbas, A. Casile, Jaseera C.M., C. Lefrancq & S. Toraskar. 2022. Grounding Texts and Theories of Societal Change. Antiquity 95(384): 1-17. doi: 10.1017/aqy.2022.28

Hawkes, J. 2021. An Imaterial Problem: Towards and Archaeology of Textiles and Textile Production in Historical South Asia, Asian Perspectives 60(2): 1-34

Hawkes, J. & A. Casile. 2020. Back to Basics: Returning to the Evidence and Mapping Knowledge in South Asian Archaeology, Asian Archaeology. doi: 10.1007/s41826-020-00032-4

Kennet, D., Hawkes, J. & Willis, M. (2020) Paithan Excavation: Historical, Archaeological, Geographical and Epigraphical Contexts. In D. Kennet, J. Varaprasada Rao and M. Kasturi Bai eds., Excavations at Paithan, Maharashtra: Transformations in Early Historic and Early Medieval India. Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 324-335.

Lefrancq, C. & J. Hawkes. 2020. Accepting Variation and Embracing Uncertainty: Regional Pottery Typologies in South Asian Archaeology, Open Archaeology 6: 269-328. doi: 10.1515/opar-2020-0112

Lefrancq, C. & J. Hawkes. 2019. A Typology of Practice: The Archaeological Ceramics from Mahurjhari, Internet Archaeology 52. doi: 10.11141/ia.52.9

Hawkes, J., & Abbas, R. (2016) ‘Copperplates in Context: Preliminary Investigation of the Study and Archaeological Settings of Land Grant Inscriptions’, Pratnatattva, 22: 41-71.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Teaching and Supervisions


In addition to my specialism in South Asian archaeology and art, I am involved in teaching core modules in archaeological method and theory, as well as comparative world archaeology.  Recently, I have also started to contribute to courses on the medieval globe and the relationship of South Asia to the Indian Ocean networks and emerging world economies.  


I supervise undergraduate students for the following papers:

  • A1 World Archaeology
  • A2 Archaeology in Action
  • A10 Archaeological Theory and Practice 1

Other Professional Activities

Elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Royal Asiatic Society.

Job Titles

College Lecturer in Archaeology
Dr Jason Hawkes

General Info

Not available for consultancy


Person keywords: 
Environment, Landscapes and Settlement
Geographical areas: 
South Asia