The aim of this project is to strengthen the field of Indian Studies at UGent by integrating the study of Indian languages and religions with archaeological research in the Gangetic Plains and neighbouring regions. The region of the Gangetic Plains expands from eastern Punjab in the west to Bangladesh in the east. In the mid-1st millennium BCE, śramaṇic ("ascetic") cults, such as Buddhism and Jainism, originated in the Middle Gangetic Plain, the area between eastern Uttar Pradesh and western Bihar. Several sites in this region bear witness to the development and spread of these religious traditions. These sites were mostly investigated in the colonial and/or post-colonial period and little work has been carried out afterwards. This project intends to renew research at key sites in the Gangetic Plains, which are crucial to our understanding of the complex socio-religious landscape of ancient India.