Dr. Alok Kumar Kanungo, was born in Odisha and grew up in close contact with many indigenous communities of eastern and north-eastern India. His early childhood experiences led him to eventually focus on archaeological and ethnographic studies of indigenous communities and ancient technology.

For the past two decades, Dr. Kanungo has conducted research on the archaeological and contemporary practice of Indian glass-making, and the simple living communities of east and northeast, resulting in 15 books and 70 research articles and book chapters. He has been a Fulbright, Humboldt, British Academy, Rakow, ICG, Homi Bhabha, SPARC, ICHR, and Bead Society fellow, and collaborated on an NSF-funded project on Sourcing of Raw Materials for Ancient Indian Glass. Dr. Kanungo has also travelled, and documented the rich heritage of the Nagas of northeast India, and the Bondos and Juangs of Odisha, both in the field and in museums across Europe and the United Kingdom. Placing the Intellectual rights of indigenous people and/or craftsmakers at the forefront of his research, he has worked in many domains of repatriation, traditional technologies, and the overlapping spheres where anthropology, history, and archaeology overlap.


Research Interests: Who owns the past, Understanding history and origin of the nagas, History, and origin of glass



BA: Khallikote College, Berhampur University, 1992

MA: Deccan College, Pune University, 1994

PG Diploma in Museology: Solapur University, 2005

PhD: Deccan College, 2003


Selected Publications:

2017 Stone Beads of South & South-East Asia: Archaeology, Ethnography and Global Connection. Gandhinagar/New Delhi: Indian Institute of Technology/Aryan Books International. ISBN 9788173055850.

2016 German Anthropologists on the Naga Hills: An Annotated Bibliography on German Literature on the Nagas. Kohima: Department of Art & Culture. ISBN 9789380500263.

2016 Mapping Indo-Pacific Beads vis-à-vis Papanaidupet. New Delhi / Madrid: Aryan Books International / International Commission on Glass. ISBN 9788173055478.

2014 Indian Glass Beads: Archaeology to Ethnography. New Delhi: Research India Press. ISBN 9788189131999.

2013 Glass in Ancient India: Excavations at Kopia.Triruvananthapuram: Kerala Council for Historical Research. ISBN 8185499462.


Work Experience:

Associate Research Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (Mar 2024 to present)

Assistant Research Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (Sep 2014 – Feb 2024)

Humboldt Experienced Researcher, Humboldt University (2012 – 2014)

Fulbright Professional Researcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2010)

Excavation Director (Kopia), Indian Archaeological Society (2004 – 2011)

Research Associate, with Prof. V.N. Misra, Former Director, Deccan College (1994 – 2000)

Self Employed, Kanungo’s (1999 – 2001)

Project Leader-cum-Programmer, Picadilly Comp (India) Pvt. Ltd. (1998 – 1999)

Researcher-cum-Programmer, Riverside Films (1997 – 1998)