Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
Romila Thapar (b. 1931) is an Indian historian, scholar and professor emerita at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, renowned for her scholarship on ancient India. She graduated from Panjab University and completed her doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK, in 1958 under the guidance of the noted historian AL Basham. She held teaching positions at Kurukshetra University and the University of Delhi, before joining Jawaharlal Nehru University as a professor of ancient Indian history in 1970. In addition, she has also served as a visiting professor at international universities such as Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania in the United States, and the College de France in Paris, France. Her published works include books on Asoka and the Mauryan Empire, social life in ancient India, the Somanatha temple in Gujarat, and the mythological tale of Sakuntala.