Cunningham, Sir Alexander

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Sir Alexander Cunningham, 1814–93, English archaeologist and army engineer; son of Allan Cunningham. He retired (1861) as a major general after 30 years of service with the Bengal engineers and then was head (1861–65, 1870–85) of the archaeological survey of India. In 1867 he was knighted. Among his books are Bhilsa Topes (1854), a history of Buddhism based on architectural remains; The Ancient Geography of India (1871, 2d ed. 1924), of which only one volume was written; The Book of Indian Eras (1883); and Coins of Ancient India (1891). His collection of rare coins is in the British Museum.

See study by A. Imam (1966).