Indian History writer Nayanjot Lahiri has won the prestigious 2016 John F. Richards Prize for her book ‘Ashoka in Ancient India’. The prestigious prize will be bestowed upon her at the American Historical Association (AHA’s) 131st Annual Meeting to be held in Denver, Colorado in January 2017. The Richards Prize is awarded annually by the American Historical Association (AHA) to honour the best book in South Asian history.
Her book ‘Ashoka in Ancient India’ has been critically acclaimed for its riveting account of an emperor Ashoka. The book deftly adjudicates between archaeological, textual, and geographical evidences to offer a dazzling interpretation of the remarkable historical figure of Ashoka and the ancient world.
Prof. Nayanjot Lahiri is an eminent historian and archaeologist of ancient India and a professor of history at the Ashoka University, based in Haryana. She was previously on the faculty of the department of history at the University of Delhi. She has several research papers and publications to her credit. Her research interests mostly include Indian archaeology, heritage studies, archeological theory and ancient India. Prof. Lahiri has authored several books such as Finding Forgotten Cities: How the Indus Civilization Was Discovered, The Decline and Fall of the Indus Civilization, The Archaeology of Indian Trade Routes (up to c. 200 B.C.), etc.
Earlier, for her work in archaeology, she was also bestowed with the 2013 Infosys Prize in the humanities.
The present award has been named after John F. Richards, a distinguished historian of South Asia and in particular of the ‘Mughal’ Empire. It recognizes the most illustrious work of scholarship or book on South Asian history published in English.