Muhammad Zahir is a lecturer in archaeology at Hazara University, Pakistan. He completed his doctorate on the subject of “The Protohistoric Cemeteries of Northern and Northwestern Pakistan: The Deconstruction of Archaeological and Burial Traditions” at the University of Leicester, UK.
He is primarily interested in the prehistoric and protohistoric periods, along with the theoretical and philosophical contexts of Pakistan’s archaeology.
His work at the South Asia Institute of Harvard University in 2014 as the inaugural Aman Fellow involved a genealogical analysis of the concepts of Aryans in Pakistan archaeology, its use in the interpretation of archaeological remains and modern ethnic identities.
He participated in the Palaeodeserts excavations in November 2014 in northern Saudi Arabia, working at the fossil sites in the Nefud desert.
He was the lead researcher and presenter on a television documentary series chronicling Buddhism in Pakistan, and also worked on the development and implementation of the UNESCO project for the preservation of the endangered movable cultural assets of Gandhara art in Pakistan.
He is currently Project Director of the Soan Valley Palaeolithic Project in Pakistan under the umbrella of the Japanese Archaeological Mission to Pakistan. He is also heavily involved in the protection and preservations of archaeological sites, and thousands of rock carvings and inscriptions, along the ancient Silk Road that will be inundated due to the construction of major water reservoirs on the River Indus.