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Department of Archaeology



I am a research assistant for the Mapping Archaeological Heritage in South Asia (MAHSA) project. I entered the field of commercial archaeology after earning my master's degree in archaeology with a specialisation on South Asia. In the brief nearly six-month period I worked as a commercial archaeologist, I acquired expertise in both geophysics surveying and field excavation.

During my Masters from Durham University, I worked with the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) Project which gave me the opportunity to investigate how mapping, documentation, and assessment of endangered archaeological sites can be aided by the use of historical maps and geospatial analytical tools. My interest in applying geospatial analytical methods and working in South Asia to discover, assess, document, and conserve endangered archaeological sites came together soon after when I volunteered with the Mapping Archaeological Heritage in South Asia (MAHSA) project. The MAHSA project, served as the model for my master's dissertation in which I attempted to locate, catalogue, and evaluate Post-Harappan archaeological sites in the Gange-Yamuna doab.


My area of interest in study is the identification of South Asian archaeological sites using spatial analytical tools. In a similar vein, I employed remote sensing, GIS, survey maps, legacy data, and landscape archaeology to discover and document archaeological mounds, endangered archaeology, and cultural heritage sites for my master's dissertation. My research focused on the Post-Harappan Cultural Periods and settlements of the Indian subcontinent, which are spread over the Ganga-Yamuna delta. As a result, I was able to compile an accessible body of data that gave a clear image of the Post-Harappan Cultures, the Valley's settlement patterns, and the intricate relationships between the various sites that make up the complex social landscapes. It is always interesting to track changes in archaeological sites throughout time and help protect and conserve archaeological heritage along with creating a database for further research in potential archaeological sites in the area.

Key Publications

Key publications: 

Citation: Sarmah, M 2022, ‘Cultural Economy: A Study on the Vernacular Architectural Construction of Mishing Tribe of Sonitpur District, Assam’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Annual Student Archaeology Conference 2020/2021, 375-385.

Job Titles

Research Assistant, The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Socio-Politics of the Past
Computational and Quantitative Archaeology
Cultural Evolution
Heritage Management
Environmental Archaeology, Geoarchaeology, and Landscape studies
Cultural Heritage

Contact Details

McDonald Institute
Downing Street


Heritage Studies
Environment, Landscapes and Settlement
Material Culture
Geographical areas: 
Central Asia
East Asia
South Asia
Southeast Asia
Periods of interest: 
Copper/Bronze Age
Iron Age
Other Historical
Other Late Prehistory
Other Prehistory