The “Trans-Himalayan Archaeology” program stems from the « Archaeology, Arts and Material Culture of the Tibetan World » project that was developed by the TBACT team between 2013 and 2018.

This new project proposes for the first time to recognize trans-Himalayan archaeology (from the Wakhan corridor in Afghanistan to the west, to the Mustang Valley in Nepal to the east, across the regions of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan and those of Ladakh and Spiti in India) as a discipline in its own right and on an international level, on a par with the archaeology of Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Tibetan plateau.

The Trans-Himalayas, characterized by several very high mountain ranges (the Pamir, Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Himalayas) is not only an important region for the study of population movements and material interactions between three great cultural areas (Central Asia, India and Tibet) over time (from Prehistory to the Second Diffusion of Buddhism at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC) — it was also home to local cultures about which almost everything remains to be discovered.

The project’s first focus will be the region’s rock art and will aim to establish a supra-regional database for these vestiges. A second line of inquiry will deal with the introduction of Buddhism, based, to a large extent, on the results of the Franco-Indian archaeological project in Ladakh (MAFIL). A third aspect of the project is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the region’s cultural heritage, for example, by setting up a plan for the conservation of the Leh Choskor site in Ladakh.



Art and Archaeology from the Ancient and Medieval Worlds civilisations history



Laurianne Bruneau (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

CRCAO members

Full members
Laurianne Bruneau (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

Associated members
Amy Heller (University of Bern)
Martin Vernier (Independent)

Nils Martin (Independent)
Ani Danielyan (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

Doctoral students
Marion Poux (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
Samara Broglia de Moura (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

Outside Participants

Pascale Dollfus (Centre for Himalayan Studies, CNRS)
Chamsia Sadozaï (Labex AE&CC, Laboratoire CRAterre-ENSAG)
David Sarmiento-Castillo (Archaeology of Central Asia team, “settlements, environments and techniques” ArScAn/UMR7041)
Mark Aldenderfer (Professor, University of California, Merced, USA)
Jean-Luc Epard (Professor, Faculty of Geosciences and Environment, Lausanne University, Switzerland)
Zafar Iqbal (PhD Candidate, Hazara University, Mansehra, Pakistan)
Jason Neelis (Lecturer, Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada)
Vinod Nautiyal (Professor, HNB University of Garhwal, Srinagar, Uttarakand, India)
Pradeep M. Saklani (Professor, University of Garhwal, Srinagar, Uttarakand, India)
Ajmal Shah (Lecturer and Curator, Centre of Central Asian Studies, Kashmir University, India)
Murtaza Taj (Lecturer, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan)