Dr. Laurianne BRUNEAU

Dr. Laurianne BRUNEAU is the founder and director of the MAFIL. She is a specialist in the arts and archaeology of South and Central Asia. She has carried out fieldwork in Indonesia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and India. She completed her Phd thesis dedicated to the petroglyphs of Ladakh, from the Bronze Age to the Buddhist period, in 2010.

She is now an associate professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (PSL Research University) and a permanent researcher at the East Asian Civilisations Research Centre in Paris where she is co-directing a research program on the “Archaeology, arts and material culture of the Tibetan cultural realm” (2013-2018). Her current researches interests are the rock art of the Western Himalayas and early Buddhist architecture.

Since 2017 Laurianne is co-applicant, along with Dr. Jason NEELIS (Wildfrid Laurier University, Canada) and Dr. Muratza TAJ (Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan), of the project “Upper Indus petroglyphs and inscriptions in Northern Pakistan: A partnership for cultural heritage” funded by a Development Grant of the Research Council for Social Sciences and Humanities of the Canadian Government.
Since October 2017, for a period of five years, she is a delegate at the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF) for an interdisciplinary research project on early Buddhism in Ladakh.

Prof. Vinod NAUTIYAL

Prof. Vinod NAUTIYAL is professor of archaeology in the Department of AIHC&Archaeology, HNB Garhwal University Srinagar, Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India. During the last 37 years, Prof. Nautiyal has been mainly carrying out explorations and excavations in Garhwal Himalaya. He was the co-coordinator of Special Assistant Programme of the University Grant Commission (UGC) Programme for 10 years. During the last five years he has been investigating in the Trans-Himalayan region of Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh where the two important burial sites of Lippa and and Kanam have been excavated which has put this borderland region in the map of Indian archaeology.

Besides archaeological investigations, Prof. Nautiyal also holds interest in the application of scientific techniques in archaeology as well as in 3D visualisation of archaeological artefact.  He has been instrumental in initiating various international collaborative programme under DST-NSF project of Department of Science and Technology from 2003 to 2005 with North Dakota State University,USA and Indo-US S & T programme in 2006 and in 2015-16 with Virginia Commonwealth University, Global Virtual Classroom Initiative in 3D VR models.

Prof. Nautiyal is a member of academic bodies and is a widely travelled person and has delivered numerous invited lectures on Himalayan Archaeology in India and abroad. He has published various papers in national and international journals. He has also supervised many doctoral candidates during the last 25 years.


Martin Vernier is the joint director of the MAFIL. He first went to Ladakh at the age of 16. Since then he has spent every summer in Ladakh and learnt the local dialect, customs and traditions. As part of his Fine Arts studies as a painter and sculptor, he spent a year in Dharamsala to study traditional Tibetan artistic techniques. He also collaborated with the Amnye Machen Institute (AMI) for museum and artistic projects.

Since 1996 Martin has focused on the historical and archaeological heritage of Ladakh. Laureate of a research grant, he spent two years (2003-2004) exploring and systematically documenting in the petroglyphs of the region. He created the first electronic database and published the first monograph on Ladakhi rock art. He now conducts research on the stone Buddhist steles and reliefs.

Thanks to his artistic background he is in charge of archaeological drawings (objects and architecture) for the MAFIL.

Married and the father of three daughters, Martin presently shares his time between archaeological research on Ladakh and travels in the Himalayas (India, Bhutan and Nepal) as a tour guide and lecturer for European agencies.

Martin is a collaborator for the research program “Archaeology, arts and material culture of the Tibetan cultural realm” at the East Asian Civilisations Research Centre (Paris).

He is an associated researcher to the team “Archaeology of Central Asia” (research unit ArScAn (Archéologies et Sciences de l’Antiquité, UMR7041, under the aegis of the French National Centre for Research, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Paris-Ouest Nanterre la Défense) located at the Maison René Ginouvès for archaeology and ethnology, Nanterre.