Beyond Boundaries:

Religion, Region,
and the State

Corresponding Principal Investigator:

Department of Asia 


Supported by

European Research Council

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From about 320 to 550 CE, the Gupta dynasty dominated South Asia. The period of the Guptas was marked by relative political stability and an astonishing florescence in every field of endeavour. Sometimes characterized as a 'Golden Age', this was a pivotal moment in Asian history

Viewed through modern intellectual, geographical and political boundaries the diverse cultures, complex polities and varied networks of the Gupta period - from the Tarim basin to Burma and beyond - remain specialist subjects. The aim of this project is to move beyond these boundaries for the first time and so recover this profoundly influential civilisation.

Rock-crystal seal of king Avarighsa

Rock-crystal seal of king Avarighsa.
Western India, 4th century

About the project

map showing the position of the Gupta Kingdom

The Gupta kingdom and its networks had an enduring impact on India and a profound reach across central and southeast Asia in a host of cultural, religious and socio-political spheres.

The research team, hosted by the British Museum, will delineate and assess the significance of the Gupta Age and its pan-Asian impacts.

More about the project and research aims 

Project team

Photo of Gupta remains at Udayagiri, central India

This collaborative project is being led by a team of scholars and institutions.


Corresponding Principal Investigator and Primus inter pares at the British Museum:

Michael Willis 


Principal Investigator at the British Library:

Sam van Schaik 


Principal Investigator at the School of Oriental and African Studies:

Nathan Hill 


Research Assistants and Collaborators 

Images: Bottom left: map showing the position of the Gupta Kingdom. Middle: gold coin of Kumaragupta I. 
Bottom right: Udayagiri, central India.