Nayanjot Lahiri is Professor of History at Ashoka University since 2016. Born in Secundrabad in 1960, she was educated at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and at the Department of History, University of Delhi. She taught at Hindu College (University of Delhi) from 1982 till 1993, and thereafter at the Department of History (University of Delhi) till 2015. She has served as Dean of Colleges at the University of Delhi from 2007 till 2010 and as Dean of International Relations from 2006 till 2007.
Lahiri’s many books include Pre-Ahom Assam (1991), The Archaeology of Indian Trade Routes (1992), The Decline and Fall of the Indus Civilization (2000), Finding Forgotten Cities – How the Indus Civilization was Discovered (2005), Marshalling the Past – Ancient India and its Modern Histories (2012), Ashoka in Ancient India (2015) and Monuments Matter – India’s Archaeological Heritage since Independence (2017), Time Pieces – A Whistle-Stop Tour of Ancient India (2018) and Archaeology and the Public Purpose – Writings on and by M.N. Deshpande (2021). She has served on the editorial board of American Anthropologist (U.S.A.), and is presently on the editorial board of Archaeologies (U.K.) and South Asian Studies (U.K.) as also on the advisory editorial board of World Archaeology (U.K.). She has been a visiting fellow at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), University of Cambridge (U.K.), the Daniel Ingalls Fellow at the Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University (U.S.A.) and the O.P. Jindal Distinguished Speaker at Brown University (U.S.A). She has served as an Advisory Member of the Shanghai Archaeology Forum of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing.
Nayanjot Lahiri has been Member, Delhi Urban Art Commission; Member, Council of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR); and Member, Governing Board of the Nehru Memorial Museum Library Society. She was also a member of a committee set up by the Government of India in 2010 to analyze the impact of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains(Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2010 and to draft an alternative bill for Parliament. The bill became law in March 2010.
Lahiri was awarded the Infosys Prize in Humanities – Archaeology for 2013, and her book Ashoka in Ancient India won the John F. Richards prize of the American Historical Association for the best book in South Asian History for 2015.