Salt Range Temples, Pakistan

Michael W. Meister, W. Norman Brown Professor, Department of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania, and Curator, Asian Section, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, has served as Chair, Department of South Asia Studies, and Director, South Asia Center

Along the Indus river and in the Salt Range mountains, temples dating from the sixth to the early eleventh century survive in upper Pakistan. A joint project with Professors Abdur Rehman, past Chairman of the Department of Archaeology, University of Peshawar, and Farid Khan, founder of the Pakistan Heritage Society, has begun to analyse and document these important monuments in the history of South Asian temple architecture with funding from the University of Pennsylvania. Two seasons of excavation have been carried out at the site of North Kafirkot.

A preliminary review and analysis of this tradition, "Temples Along the Indus," has been published in the University of Pennsylvania Museum's journal, Expedition, 38.3 (1996): 41-54. (The text as well as a preliminary typescript of this article are available on the Web.)

We discovered an important new temple designated temple E through excavations undertaken at north Kafirkot in 1997. A report on both seasons of excavation has been published in Expedition. 42.1 (2000): 37-46.

(See also a full list of project publications below.)

Recent views of Kafirkot in Feb. 2000 following excavation are also available, as well as two hypothetical reconstructions of temple E based on neighboring temple A.

Salt Range Workshop

An international Workshop on the Salt Range Culture Zone was held at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in April 2004, with the sponsorship of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies.


Further archaeological work and exploration was begun at the Salt-Range site of Amb, in association with the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of the Punjab.

Amb, temples A and B

Support for this project has been received from the Middle East Center, South Asia Regional Studies Department, the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation, and the American Institute of Pakistan Studies.


For more views of these monuments, see also Selected Enlarged Views of Salt Range Temples.

Salt Range Temple Project Publications

Michael W. Meister

In Press

Michael W. Meister with Abdur Rehman Michael W. Meister, Abdur Rehman, and Farid Khan Abdur Rehman

Farzand Masih

A student of Professor Abdhur Rehman's at the University of Peshawar, and team representative of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Pakistan, Farzand Masih travelled and worked with the Salt Range Project for several seasons while he prepared a doctoral dissertation, "Temples of the Salt Range and North and South Kafirkot: Detailed Analysis of Their Architecture and Decorative Designs" (Department of Archaeology, University of Peshawar, 2000). He is now an Assistant Professor of Archaeology, Department of History, University of the Punjab, Lahore. He has recently published parts of the dissertation: