Katie A. Paul is the Chief of Staff at the Antiquities Coalition (AC). Additionally, she serves as an affiliated Researcher at The George Washington University Capitol Archaeological Institute (CAI). For the past six years her research has focused on the role of media, social media, and new technologies in monitoring and recording patterns of cultural racketeering in nations in crisis. This work contributes to the International Coalition to Protect Egyptian Antiquities (ICPEA), an initiative of the AC. In addition to her advocacy work for the CAI and ICPEA, and her research on cultural racketeering, she serves on the Cultural Heritage Policy Committee of the Archaeological Institute of America.
Paul’s most recent research, a five-year case study on patterns of heritage crimes in post-Arab Spring Egypt, utilized media and social media reports from activists, government agencies, reporters and archaeological experts that have continuously streamed out of Egypt since January 25th, 2011. By examining all of the reports related to cultural heritage crimes over a five year period, she was able to glean valuable information on the patterns and cycles of heritage crimes in Egypt that also have applications in the greater Middle East and North African region and across the globe.
A month-by-month graphing of various types of heritage threats, the location classifications where they occur, and the demographics of those involved reveals clear and recurring patterns that have the potential to point to anticipated events. This research is geared toward solutions that work on the ground for those governments dealing with heritage threats head on.
In addition to Egypt, Paul is continually updating the Antiquities Coalition’s #CultureUnderThreat Maps to monitor patterns in destruction of cultural heritage sites across the Middle East and North Africa.
Looting and Graffiti in Egypt
Photos from March 2015, Courtesy of Katie A. Paul