Paula Dupuy

Sociology and Anthropology, School of Sciences and Humanities
Assistant Professor


Ph.D. Washington University in St. Louis, 2014

M.A. Washington University in St. Louis, 2009


Research Interests

Anthropological archaeology, archaeometry, craft production, community dynamics, ceramics, textiles, technology transfer and exchange; the archaeology and anthropology of mountain and steppe ecologies, pastoralism and mobility, early farming, social change in prehistory.



Paula Dupuy has been engaged in archaeological fieldwork and research in Central Asia since 2005. Her specialization is in the study of mobile pastoralism of Kazakhstan and Central Asia in general. Her research focuses on material studies to examine how the region’s Bronze Age societies were incorporated into, and crucial, to the establishment of transregional webs of exchange and technology transfer thousands of years before the Silk Roads. Textile and ceramics analyses form the backbone of her investigations into ancient pastoralist materiality and society.  



She is co-director and principal material analyst of the Dzhungar Mountains Archaeology Project (DMAP), an international field project engaged in archaeological excavation, survey, mapping, and materials analysis related to Kazakhstan’s early nomadic and sedentary populations from 5000 years ago onward. The project is a collaborative between The Institute of Archaeology in Almaty, Kazakhstan and Washington University in St. Louis.

She is a contributing member of The Making of Ancient Eurasia Project (MAE), an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional group working to develop new archaeometric analytical and non-destructive methods for investigating ancient material technologies of central Eurasia, the Caucasus, and China.


Teaching and Field Work Opportunities

The DMAP runs an annual summer field school in Kazakhstan to train undergraduates in archaeological excavation and research methods. Please check back in spring for more details. Undergraduates from Nazarbayev University are encouraged to apply.

During semester Paula Dupuy offers classes at the undergraduate level that survey topics in general anthropology, as well as courses in Central Asian prehistory and on global issues related to nomadic ways of life in ancient and contemporary settings. A materials analysis component to these courses is conducted in our Anthropology Laboratory. She is also a faculty member of the University’s Masters of Eurasian Studies Program where she has led seminars on community structure in nomadic societies and materiality in Eurasian society.