V.N. Prabhakar obtained his Ph.D. in Archaeology from Kurukshetra University, Haryana (India) and is presently Associate Professor (Archaeology), Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.  He held the post of Director (Archaeology) in Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) before joining IIT Gandhinagar.  His  research interests are Harappan Civilization and Application of Sciences in Archaeology.  He has conducted extensive research in the areas of bead manufacturing techniques of the Harappans from the site of Dholavira.  His doctoral thesis was on Burial practices of the Harappans: Sanauli Excavations A Case Study, wherein a multifaceted analysis including stable isotope studies was conducted.  He has conducted independent excavations at the Harappan site of Rupnagar (Punjab) and Karanpura (Rajasthan) in India and actively participated in the excavations at Dholavira (Gujarat), Lalkot (Delhi), Sanauli, Madarpur, Fatehpur Sikri (all in Uttar Pradesh), Ellora (Maharashtra).  He has organised national and international conferences; workshops. He currently teaches and conduct research at IIT Gandhinagar, coordinating the application of sciences in archaeology.


Research Interests: Archaeology of protohistorical India, Harappan archaeology, Scientific techniques applied to archaeology



BSc: University of Madras, 1991

MA: University of Madras, 1993

PG Diploma (Archaeology): Institute of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India, Delhi, 1995

PhD: Kurukhsetra University, 2013


Selected Publications:


Journal Articles

  1. 2021 Ajit Singh, Vikrant Jain, Michel Danino, Naveen Chauhan, Rahul Kumar Kaushal, Shantamoy Guha and V.N. Prabhakar. Larger floods of Himalayan foothill rivers sustained flows in the Ghaggar-Hakra channel during Harappan age. Journal of Quaternary Science (2021) 1-17. pp. 1-17. ISSN 0267-8179. DOI: 10.1002/jqs.3320
  2. 2018 Ruman Banerjee, V.N. Prabhakar and R.S. Bisht, Harappan blade implements: Studies in Archaeology 6. 2018. pp. 276-298. ISSN 2347-5463
  3. 2017 V.N. Prabhakar and Ravi Korisettar, Ground survey to aerial survey: methods and best practices in systematic archaeological explorations and excavations, Current Science, 113, pp. 1873-1890, ISSN 0011-3891, Impact Factor: 0.843.
  4. 2016 V.N. Prabhakar, An Overview of the Stone Bead Drilling Technology in South Asia from Earliest Times to Harappans in Heritage: Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies in Archaeology 4, pp. 47-74, ISSN 2347-5463.


Conference Proceedings

  1. 2019 V.N. Prabhakar. The Preservation of Rock-cut Structures of Western Maharashtra and Conservation Challenges in V. Selvakumar and Manabu Koiso (eds.) Historical and Archaeological Heritage Management and Cultural Tourism in India and Japan: Issues and Prospects for Development.  Tamil University, Thanjavur and Kobe Yamate University, Kobe, India. pp. 193 – 219. ISBN: 978-93-5361-404-1.
  2. 2018 V.N. Prabhakar. Processes Leading to Urbanism in the Indus Valley during the Third Millennium BCE in G.J. Sudhakar and G. Balaji (eds.) Urbanization in Indian History, Proceedings of the National Seminar held on January 5 & 6, 2018. C.P.R. Publications. Chennai. ISBN 978 93 85459 06 1
  3. 2017 Ravi Prasad, V.N. Prabhakar, Vikrant Jain. Geological Aspects of Raw Materials for Stone Beads, in Alok Kanungo (ed.) Stone Beads of South and Southeast Asia, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar and Aryan Books International, New Delhi, pp. 115-126. ISBN 9788173055850
  4. 2017 V.N. Prabhakar. Documentation and Analysis of Stone Drills from Dholavira, in Alok Kanungo (ed.) Stone Beads of South and Southeast Asia, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar and Aryan Books International, New Delhi, pp. 293-316. ISBN 9788173055850


Book Chapters

  1. 2020 R.S. Bisht and V.N. Prabhakar. Evolution of Early Human Settlements in the Sarasvati River Basin: Archaeological Evidences and Site Distribution Analysis. In S.K. Acharyya, Kunal Ghosh and Amal Kar (eds.) Saraswati The River Par Excellence. The Asiatic Society. ISBN 978-81-946923-3-1
  2. 2020 V.N. Prabhakar. Understanding the Burial Practices and Disposal of Dead of the Harappans during the Urban Phase in the Greater Indus Valley (c. 2600-1900 BCE). In Rajesh S.V., Abhayan G.S., Ajit Kumar, Ehsan Rahmath Ilahi (eds.) The Archaeology of Burials: Examples from Indian Subcontinent. New Bharatiya Book Corporation. Delhi. ISBN: 978-81-8315-366-9
  3. 2018 V.N. Prabhakar. Decorated Carnelian Beads from the Indus Valley Civilization Site of Dholavira (Great Rann of Kachchha, Gujarat). In Dennys Frenez, Gregg M. Jamison, Randall W. Law, Massimo Vidale and Richard H. Meadow (eds.) Walking with the Unicorn: Social Organization and Material Culture in Ancient South Asia, Jonathan Mark Kenoyer Felicitation Volume. Archaeopress. Oxford. pp. 475-485. ISBN 978 178491 917 7


Work Experience:

Associate Professor (Archaeology), Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (September 2020 – present)

Director (Exploration & Excavation), Archaeological Survey of India (August 2018 – September 2020)

Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India (Delhi) (April 2017 – July 2018)

Visiting Faculty, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (April 2014 – March 2017)

Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi (Apr 2011 – July 2018)

Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India (Aurangabad and Excavation Branch, Delhi) (July 2009 – Apr 2011)

Deputy Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India (Delhi and Aurangabad) (May 2003 – June 2009)

Assistant Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India (Agra and Aurangabad) (March 1997 – April 2003)