Katie Paul, Archaeologist & ArchaeoActivist

Katie A. Paul is an anthropologist and advocate fighting to combat illicit antiquities trafficking in the Middle East. She has conducted extensive research on antiquities trafficking in Egypt and the broader Middle East, but her focus on archaeology started at her roots.

Originally from Ohio — a state archaeologically rich in its own right — Katie would operate her own ‘digs’ in her backyard as a kid to search for fossils and other ancient finds.  She now resides in Washington, DC (but still has the fossils!).

She currently conducts independent research on issues related to trafficking of ancient artifacts and the use of social media by militants and transnational criminal groups. She also serves as a consultant on enhancing social media strategies. Katie has previously conducted research for the Antiquities Coalition, as well as worked in collaboration with The Day After Heritage Protection Initiative. She is a co-founder and former co-host of The ArchaeoVenturers Project, a YouTube series dedicated on bringing bite sized pieces of archaeology and science to a younger audience.

Her passion for protecting heritage began at a young age but turned to activism following the 2011 Arab Spring. Katie has applied her intimate knowledge of conflicts in the Middle East and how they affect the history of the region to become an advocate for ‘real world’ archaeology and its accompanying humanitarian issues.

Katie believes that today it’s not enough to simply be an archaeologist to protect heritage, the world needs ArchaeoActivists: people working across fields and disciplines to combat the trafficking of antiquities by organized criminal and terrorist groups.

Katie has studied and conducted fieldwork around the world, including Egypt, Israel, and San Salvador, Bahamas. She has been published by multiple media outlets and academic journals. She received her B.A.s from Miami University-Ohio in Anthropology and Ancient Greek, and her M.A. in Anthropology from The George Washington University. Always looking to learn more, she has studied Arabic, Ancient Greek and Spanish languages – she likes to take the hard way when it comes to language and study a variety that have no similarities whatsoever.