Jonathan Mark Kenoyer

Measuring the Harappan World: Insights into the Indus Order and Cosmology


The origins of certain types of weights and measures in South Asia can be traced back to the earliest cities of the Indus civilization. This illustrated lecture will present an overview of the types of artifacts that inform us about ancient Harappan measurement systems in order to gain insight into their concepts of order and cosmology.


Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Professor of Anthopology, teaches archaeology and ancient technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has taught at Madison since 1985 and is currently the Director of the Center for South Asia. His main focus is on the Indus Valley Civilization. He has worked in Pakistan and India for the past 26 years. Dr. Kenoyer was born in India and lived there until he came to the U.S. for college. He has a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley and completed his M.A. and Ph.D in South Asian Archaeology at the same university. He has conducted archaeological research and excavations at both Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, two of the most important early sites in Pakistan, and has also worked in western and central India. He has a special interest in ancient technologies and crafts, socio-economic and political organization as well as religion. These interests have led him to study a broad range of cultural periods in South Asia as well as other regions of the world.

Since 1986, he has been the Co-Director and Field Director of the Harappa Archaeological Reserach Project in Pakistan, a long term study of urban development in the Indus Valley. He was Guest Curator at the Elvehjem Museum of Art, Madison, for the exhibition on the Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization, which toured the U.S. in 1998-1999. His work was most recently featured in a special 2005 issue of Scientific American and on