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Adam Green
Lecturer in Sustainability



Dr Green is an archaeologist who specialises in the relationship between inequality and sustainability over long periods of time. His research highlights the surprising prevalence of egalitarianism in the archaeological record. His interest in inequality in the past is tied to a strong desire to reduce inequalities in the present, so he works closely with farmers, economists, agronomists, and other communities to identify ways insights from the past can make the world fairer and more sustainable.

Adam began working in India in 2009 as a Fulbright scholar affiliated with the National Museum of India in Delhi and a research scholar affiliated with the Deccan College Post-graduate Institute for Archaeology in Pune. While working on his doctorate at New York University, he contributed to fieldwork at the past settlements of Farmana, Karsola and the ancient city of Rakhigarhi. In 2015, he earned a PhD in from New York University’s Department of Anthropology while teaching as an Instructor of Anthropology at Georgia State University. He then joined the University of Cambridge as a Postdoctoral Researcher in 2016, and led collaborative surveys with Dr Aftab Alam from Banaras Hindu University, locating ancient villages in India as part of the European Research Council-funded TwoRains project. In 2018, he joined the Global Challenges Research Fund-ed TIGR2ESS Project, a collaborative and interdisciplinary research project that worked across universities and research institutes in the United Kingdom and India to improve the sustainability of Indian agriculture. In addition to working with a wide network of Cambridge scholars in geography and development studies, he developed active collaborations with economists and agronomists at Punjab Agricultural University, the Centers for International Projects Trust and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics. Adam was also a Research Associate at King’s College, Cambridge, where he worked with students and scholars in archaeology and beyond to identify ways knowledge from the past could address global challenges.

Adam joined the University of York as a Lecturer in Sustainability in 2022, and is undertaking research and teaching that challenges old thinking about inequality and sustainability using data and insights from the past. He holds a dual appointment in the Department of Archaeology and Department of Environment and Geography, and welcomes discussions from potential PhD or post-doctoral researchers interested in designing and funding projects that focus on sustainability, inequality, agricultural economies, the Green Revolution, and the archaeology of South Asia.



Adam has been conducting collaborative fieldwork at the intersection of archaeology, heritage and agriculture in India for more than a decade, and uses digital, computational and quantitative methods to rapidly assemble and analyse large-scale datasets that can be used to investigate long-term trends in human economies. In particular, his research asks what is the relationship between inequality and sustainability? 

His currently projects include:

  • Gini Project, a National Science Foundation-funded international working group on ancient inequality. 
  • Critical Paleoeconomics, a project dedicated in bringing global archaeological data into conversation with critical debates in economics.
  • Collaborative fieldwork in Haryana and Punjab, a series of archaeological surveys, excavations and historical surveys in the “Granary” of India.
  • Laboratory for Integrated Archaeological Visualization, where he directs collaborative and interdisciplinary research based on legacy data from ancient city of Mohenjo-daro, located in Sindh, Pakistan (ca. 2600-1900 BC)

Adam’s research is collaborative and cooperative, and actively promotes substantive  dialogues that will be necessary to making the world fairer and more sustainable.

Research group(s)

Creating sustainable and equitable food, energy and water systems

Digital Archaeology and Heritage Lab

Available PhD research projects

Adam welcomes students interested in pursuing PhDs on the agricultural economies of South Asia, and in invites students to develop proposals around the following (or related) topics:

  • Inequality in South Asia’s British Colonial Landscapes
  • Egalitarian forms of Sustainable Governance
  • Quantitative and/or spatial methods for developing and integrating inequality datasets
  • Trends in Inequality in Britain’s Historical Croplands
  • Collective Action in Sustainable Agricultural Systems
  • Economic Growth (and Degrowth) Over the long-term


Selected publications

Green, Adam S. ‘Killing the Priest-King: Addressing Egalitarianism in the Indus Civilization’. Journal of Archaeological Research 29, no. 2 (2021): 153–202.

Green, Adam S., Sandeep Dixit, Kaushal Kishor Garg, Nr Sandya, Gurpreet Singh, Kamal Vatta, Anthony M. Whitbread, Martin K. Jones, Ravindra Nath Singh, and Cameron A Petrie. ‘An Interdisciplinary Framework for Using Archaeology, History and Collective Action to Enhance India’s Agricultural Resilience and Sustainability’. Environmental Research Letters, 20 July 2020. 

Green, Adam S. ‘Of Revenue Without Rulers: Public Goods in the Egalitarian Cities of the Indus Civilization’. Frontiers in Political Science 4 (27 April 2022): 823071. 

Green, Adam S. ‘Debt and Inequality: Comparing the “Means of Specification” in the Early Cities of Mesopotamia and the Indus Civilization’. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 60 (December 2020): 101232. 

Green, Adam S., Hector A Orengo, Aftab Alam, Arnau Garcia-Molsosa, Lillian M Green, Francesc Conesa, Amit Ranjan, Ravindra N Singh, and Cameron A. Petrie. ‘Re-Discovering Ancient Landscapes: Archaeological Survey of Mound Features from Historical Maps in Northwest India and Implications for Investigating the Large-Scale Distribution of Cultural Heritage Sites in South Asia’. Remote Sensing 11, no. 2089 (2019): 26. 



Adam is leading the undergraduate module Assessed Seminars: Past Environments. He also delivers a range of seminars and lectures on agricultural economies, inequality and water management in a range of modules within both departments.


In 2023-2024, Adam is co-leading the post-graduate modules: Sustainability I: definitions of sustainability & methods of assessment and Sustainability II: understanding sustainability as change through time.

Contact details

Dr Adam Green
Lecturer in Sustainability
Dept. of Archaeology and Dept. of Environment and Geography
University of York
The King's Manor