Established: 1948

 Founder Head: Madhab Chandra Goswami

In 1956, with the setting up of the Gauhati University's permanent campus, the Department shifted to Jalukbari. In the same year, the department launched its post graduate programme. In the last 67 years of existence the Department of Anthropology, Gauhati University has been imparting quality education in its three major branches of Physical Anthropology, Social and Cultural Anthropology and Archaeological Anthropology.

The Department offers Post graduate and PhD courses in the branches of Physical Anthropology, Socio-cultural Anthropology, and Archaeological Anthropology. Twenty six students are admitted to the semester system PG programme every year. Ethnographic field works is a compulsory part of the PG course which is conducted every year. In addition, the students have to undertake dissertation field work in their chosen branch of specialization. The department has the facilities of Bio-chemical laboratory, Osteometri,c and Craniometric laboratory, Dermatoglyphics laboratory and museum specimen preservation laboratory. There is also a computer laboratory with internet facility to access e-journals. The PhD programme is for 5 years with one semester compulsory course work.

The Department is actively involved in Anthropological Research in the region. It has received the UGC, Special Assistance Programme in the current year (2015) for conducting research in the two thrust areas of Cultural Heritage: Tangible and Intangible and Population Ageing and Health. It has previously received and completed UGC DSA in the year 1992 on the topic -Community Contact cum Extension Education Research.- Besides faculty members of the Department have conducted a number of short term programmes, long term research projects sponsored by various financial organizations. National and regional seminars, workshops special lectures, etc. are organized from time to time to enhance the academic quality of the department.

The Department also has a library. It has books on all the areas of anthropology and other allied subjects and disciplines. Volumes of old journal of national and international repute are also preserved. The field reports and dissertations are kept in the library. The library has about 1300 books and it is updated at regular intervals.

The Bulletin of Department of Anthropology is published annually. It is a peer-reviewed research journal (ISSN 2230-9527).

The Department of Anthropology has a museum named as Madhab Chandra Goswami Anthropological Museum. The North Eastern part of India has a diverse geographical, etnological and cultural background. this unique situation makes the region anthropologically very significant. it is also referred to as a 'paradise for anthropologists'. The museum has been collecting, preserving and documenting the cultural materials from the different parts of the region since its establishment. it can be said to be a repository of the documents of the cultural history of the region.

The museum houses both ethnographic and archaeological specimens. in addition there are skeletons of chimpanzee, gorilla and other primates. the museum has a large collection of basketry items, ornaments belonging to different tribes of the North East, wooden figurines and other items of every day use made of wood, masks, iron objects and a rich collection of fiber and textiles of the region.

Masters Degree Course

The Department of Anthropology, Gauhati University offers two years Post Graduate Course in Anthropology. It is a semester based curriculum with four semesters. The students will receive Masters degree in Science and Arts after the completion of the course. The students have the option of specializing in Physical Anthropology, Social and Cultural Anthropology and Archaeological Anthropology from the third semester.

The first semester has three theory papers of 100 marks each and two practical papers of 150 marks. The theory papers cover aspects of process and principles human evolution, methods and principles of archaeological anthropology, society and culture. Ethnographic field work of 100 marks, including material culture, methods of preserving museum materials, is a compulsory practical work in this semester. The other practical paper of 50 marks covers serology, physiology, dermatoglyphics and sense perception.

The second semester has three theory papers of 100 marks each and two practical papers of 150 marks. The theory papers deal with human variation, prehistoric man and culture and other aspects of society and culture. Practical in physical anthropology includes craniometry, osteometry and bio-statistics. Archaeological anthropology practical deals with prehistoric technology covering stone tool and pottery technology.

In the third semester, the students have to choose their specialization from Physical Anthropology, Social and Cultural Anthropology or Archaeological Anthropology. There are three 100 marks compulsory theory papers for all students and two papers of 100 and 50 marks each from the chosen specialization. The compulsory papers covers applied, action and development anthropology, applied physical anthropology, rural and urban anthropology. Students have to submit a dissertation for 100 marks based on field work on the chosen specialization. Each of the optional papers from the three branches has a paper on research methodology for 50 marks.

In the fourth semester there are two general papers of 100 marks each. The first general paper is on society and culture in India and North-East India and the second is on the anthropology of North-East India. Each of the specialization have three 100 marks theory papers. The Physical Anthropology optional papers cover formal genetics, population genetics and anthropological demography. Social and Cultural Anthropology covers anthropological theories and thoughts, study of monographs and modern trends in social anthropology. Archaeological Anthropology includes environmental archaeology, prehistoric economic patterns and social archaeology, prehistory of South and South East Asia.

 PhD Course

The PhD programme of the Department is for 5 years duration with compulsory one semester course work.

The Department presently has around 14 research guides. The areas of research in Physical Anthropology are broadly growth, demography, population genetics, ageing, medical anthropology, etc. Research on Social and Cultural Anthropology include studies on socio-cultural change, rural and urban anthropology, health, etc. Archaeological Anthropological research is mostly in the areas of ethno-archaeology, geo-archaeology, environmental archaeology, prehistoric archaeology, etc.

The Department presently has 62 PhD students pursuing research under this programme. There are 2 Post Doctoral research scholars working in the Department. Between 2001 and 2013, 47 students have received PhD degree from the Department.

 Departmental Research

The Department has received Special Assistance Programme, DRS I under University Grants Commission in 2015 to undertake research in the following two thrust areas:

  • (a) Cultural Heritage: Tangible and Intangible
  • (b) Population Ageing and Health


M.Sc. in Anthropology (CBCS) Syllabus. Visit:

M.A. in Anthropology (CBCS) Syllabus. Visit:




1. Indian Anthropological Congress-2018 has been organized by the Department Of Anthropology in collaboration with Guwahati Regional Committee of INCAA, Guwahati, Assam from February 21-23,2018  under the aegis of Indian National Confederation and Academy of Anthropologists (INCAA).

 2. Department of Anthropology has Organized a consultative seminar on UGC Special Assistance Programme DRS-1on Road map for studies on “Cultural Heritage And Population Aging And Health Among The Karbis And The Tiwas Of Assam” on 17th March, 2017.

 3. North Eastern Regional Centre of Indira Gandhi National Centre for arts, Guwahati in collaboration withy Department of anthropology, Gauhati University, Gauhati, has organised a three day workshop on “Indigenous methods of Water Resource Management in North East India” in the premises of the Department of Anthropology, Gauhati University from 9th -11th March, 2016.


4. Department of anthropology, Gauhati University in collaboration with Indian Science News association, Kolkata, Anthropological Survey of India and Indian Council of Social science Research, Shillong   has organized  a two days National seminar on 10-11th, Sept, 2015, on “ Science , Technology and Innovation: Its impact on Communities of North East India. The seminar was inaugurated by the chief guest Prof. H.P. Sarma, Rector, Gauhati University.


5. Department of Anthropology has organized a three day National Seminar on “ Cultural Heritage of Assam" in collaboration with Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal ofrom 23-25th April, 2015, in the Department of Anthropology.  


 A lecture series was orgnaised in the Department of Anthropology from 17th -20th November, 2015 on the following topics:

1.      Prof. Debkumar Chakrabarti, IIT, Guwahati has delivered a lecture on, Ergonomic relevance in Anthropology.

2.      Prof. Jibon Kumar Singh, Manipur University has delivered a lecture on, Emerging areas of research in physical anthropological research in the North East.

3.      Prof. Jibon Kumar Singh, Manipur University has delivered a lecture on, The modern approaches in physical anthropological research in the North East India.

4.      Prof. Romendra Khongsdier, NEHU has delivered a lecture on , Application of statistics in Anthropological research.




 A ethnographic biopic on “Angels of aboriginals: Dr. Verrier Elwin “ directed by Mr.Biswajit Bora and produced by Ms. Maya Kholie was screened on 1st September at the Department of Anthropology.







    1. UGC Special Assistance Programme SAP-DRS-1(2016-2021).(Running)


2.      Impact of consanguinity on health: A study in Barpeta district, Assam, Major research Project under Dr. Gulrukh Begum, Project Director. (Running)
3.       Rock Art and Allied subject in North-East, Major research Project under Dr. Dwipen Bezbaruah, Project Director. (Running)
4.      Bio-social aspects of Aging: A study among two tribes of Morigaon district Assam, Minor research Project under Dr. Chandana Sarma, Project Director. (Completed)




 One of the oldest museums in Northeast India Madhab Chandra Goswami Anthropological (MCGA) Museum at Gauhati University (GU) which turned 70 this year. Established in 1948, it is home to a rich collection of ethnographic (relating to different cultures) as well as archaeological materials. It is currently located in the department of Anthropology at GU.   

The museum has been documenting cultural materials from different parts of the Northeast region since its establishments. It is home to ornaments, textiles, masks, wood items, iron objects, musical instruments, earthen objects and head gear belonging to different tribes and indigenous groups of the region.

Besides these materials, it also comprises archaeological prehistoric and historic stone tools and potteries. 

The museum houses close to 10000 stone artifacts, 1200 ethnographic artifacts and the unique feature is that they are all original.“This is the beauty of this museum. In most Indian museums, one does not find original things and many of the ethnographic artifacts are now extinct but this museum houses some very rare ethnographic materials that too in a good condition,” he said. 


Emphasis on meticulous preservation of artifacts

       The department has a course specially designed for this called the museum methods course. Under this, the students are taught various ways which are used to preserve wooden, stone, iron and bone artifacts- each of which require different treatment for preservation.  The department makes up for the shortage of technical manpower by involving students in the conservation work.

Experts say that artifacts are usually easy to collect but very tough to preserve given the climatic condition of the region.  The faculty of the department takes pride in the fact that they have been conserving museum materials since 1948 and have fortunately not damaged a single piece.
They also attribute this feat to the attitude of the students, teachers as well as staff members.

Their efforts over the years have also been appreciated from far and wide. During his visit to the museum, the famous anthropologist and scholar C Von-FurerHaimendorf had written in the visitor’s book:

“I am greatly impressed by the rich and the valuable ethnographic collection contained in the departmental museum. If space were available it could easily fill two or three large halls and could become the nucleus of an ethnographic museum for the whole of Northeast India. Within the limitations imposed by the available space, it is carefully reported and displayed by the department of Anthropology. The responsible members of the staff can be congratulated having to assemble this excellent collection.”    


Curators of the Museum

1.      Shri P.D. saikia (1958-1959)

2.      Dr. P.C. saikia (1959-1970)

3.      Dr. H.C. sarma (1970-1973)

4.      Dr. b. Choudhury (1976-1981)

5.      Dr. S.K. Roy (1984-2009)

6.      Dr. A.A.Ashraf (2010-2011)

7.      Dr. B.K. Borah (2011 till date)



Department of Anthropology
Gauhati University, Guwahati 781014, Assam
Phone : +91-361-2570248
Email :
Web   :

 Department of Anthropology is well equipped with the following facilities:

1.      Library facility with rich stock of books

2.      Computer laboratory with internet access

3.      Prehistory laboratory

4.      Osteometry  laboratory

5.      Craniometry laboratory

6.      Serology laboratory

7.      Physiometry laboratory

8.       Dermatoglyphics laboratory


  • The number of Ph. D awardee since inception of the department is 144 till date


  • The number of pursuing Ph. D research scholar is 52


  • The number of Post Doc awardee is 1 and 2 are pursuing.

1.      Gagan Choudhury ( Laboratory Supervisor)

2.     .Dipankar Kayastha (Laboratory Assistant)

3.     Sarbeswar Das (Laboratory Bearer)

4.      Uddhab Sarma (Laboratory Bearer)

5.      Dipak Chandra Upadhya (Laboratory Bearer)

6.      Jitendra Das (Driver cum field peon)

7.       Sabitri Basfor (Sweeper)

8.      Babita Basfor ( Sweeper)


  Neolithic Age site discoverd in Assam

Evidences of early civilization or culture in the State have been discovered by a team of researchers and students of Gauhati University Anthropology Department, led by Prof. Abdullah Ali Ashraf,HOD of the department which come up with the proof to confirm such culture formation which can be dated back to about 3,000 years, that is the Stone Age. Pottery which were found together with stone implements at Bambooti near Dudhnoi river, are morphologically and technometrically quite significant in a sense that for the first time they established a localizied origin and development of culture in Assam during Neolithic Age, around 3,000 years back. These findings refute the common belief that Northeast India lackes any traces of early culture formation.


  1. Physical Anthropology



Dhanmani Medhi (Ph.D, B.Ed)

E Mail:

 Area of interest:

1. Physical growth and nutrition

 2. Reproductive health

3. Bio-social aspects of health

 No. of seminar papers presented: 10,    

National: 8

International: 2

No. of Publications: 6                             

 Book: 1

 Research papers: 4

 Book article: 1

Workshop attended: 2

Chaired session: 1  ( A session  in international symposium)


1. Life member of INCAA


2.  Social And Cultural Anthropology


 1. Jyotishman Taye ( M. A, Research Fellow )


Area of Interest :

1. Conflict Resolution 

2. Religion

3. Buddhist Study

 No. of seminar papers presented: 4

National: 3

International: 1

No. of Publications: 5

Edited Book Article: 1

Paper: 4

Workshop: 4

Fellowship Awarded:

1. Indian Council of Social Science Research, Doctoral Fellowship: 2012-2014

Membership: 1

1. BSG ( Bharat Soka Gakkai)



2. Shangpam Kashung (PhD, Post Doc)

E mail:


 Articles (Published Abroad)-2

Articles (Published in India)-5

Book review-1

Participated/Attended Seminars/ Workshops/Conferences- 18, papers presented-11

 Research Interests

 1Gender studies

2. Family, Marriage and Kinship

3. Tribal studies


 Indian Council of Social Science Research Fellowship: April 2007-March 2008

Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship April 2008-2012 March.

Dr. Radhakrishnan Post Doctoral Fellowship August 2014-July 2017

 Member of Academic Bodies:

 Life Member, Indian National Confederation and Academy of Anthropologists (INCAA)

Life Member, Indian Academy of Social Sciences





Abdullah Ali Ashraf [ Deceased ]
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Archaeological Anthropology, Prehistoric Archaeology
Dwipen Bezbaruah Head of the Department
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Mini Bhattacharyya Thakur
MSc (Delhi) PhD (Gauhati)
Social and Cultural Anthropology
Rekha Das
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Physical Anthropology

Associate Professor

Arifur Zaman
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Advanced Social and Cultural Anthropology
Chandana Sarmah
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Physical Anthropology
Gulrukh Begum
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Physical Anthropolgy
Sushil Sinha
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Social and Cultural Anthropology

Assistant Professor

Humi Thaosen
MSc (Gauhati)
Social and Cultural Anthropology
Robinson Senar
MSc (Gauhati)
Archaeological Anthropology
Smita Devi Bora
MSc (Gauhati) B.Ed (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Archaeological Anthropology