Anthropology Department

Head: Prof. D. K. Limbu

Contact: 2723101/2723102


Department of Anthropology, 
North-Eastern Hill University 
Shillong 793 022 
Phone No. 272 3101/ 272 3102


The Department of Anthropology was established in 1980 as the Department of Cultural Anthropology with just one teacher, late Prof. A.P. Sinha. It was in 1983 that it was renamed as the Department of Anthropology. The department was under the School of Social Sciences from 1981 to 1994. In the latter part of 1994, it was included in the School of Human and Environmental Sciences. In the last 26 years or so, it has grown into a full-fledged department with facilities for specialization in Social/Cultural and Physical/Biological streams and a broad orientation in other sub-disciplines like Prehistoric Archaeology, Palaeoanthropology and Linguistic Anthropology. The Verrier Elwin Memorial Museum was established in the Department in August 2002.

Aims and Objectives

During the last decade, the department has been actively involved in teaching and research activities relating to the fields of population genetics, bio-demography, nutrition, human growth and development, social change, ethnographic studies, ethnic and gender issues.  During the XII Plan, the department’s goal is to create an academic and research environment that is socially relevant and holistic in nature. The major objectives under this department’s goal are as follows:

  1. To promote and develop integrative thinking for consolidating anthropological teaching and research,
  2. To train and create expertise in identified thrust areas,
  3. To contribute to the betterment and well-being of society by carrying out  researches that are socially relevant, particularly in Northeast India,
  4. To develop partnership and collaboration locally, nationally and internationally, and
  5. To build world-class infrastructure facilities.

Thrust area

The success of the department in fulfilling the above objectives will be monitored and measured by the number and quality of publications, conference proceedings, linkages and collaborative initiatives established with other departments/organizations within and outside the university, especially in the following thrust areas:

  • Population genetics including DNA studies with special focus on phylogenetic relationship of human populations and other related health issues,
  • Biocultural aspects of human growth and nutrition, reproductive and child health,
  • Applied physical anthropology (including forensic anthropology),
  • Ethnographic studies with special reference to visual ethnography, and
  • Gender, identity, ethnicity and social change.