1994 …2022
If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Biography

Karin Sowada is a specialist in the ancient history and archaeology of Egypt and the Middle East, with a focus on foreign engagement, trade and societal change. She is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow leading the four-year Project ‘Pyramids, Power and the Dynamics of States in Crisis’.

The Project aims to transform existing narratives on the impact of Egypt in the eastern Mediterranean during the Pyramid Age (c. 2660-2200 BC), by demonstrating the influence of large state entities as drivers of societal change in the ancient world. Using archaeological, historical and new scientific data, the research program focuses on the role of economic interests, statecraft and leadership in the face of climate change and the movement of people. The Project includes fieldwork, and scientific collaborations on four continents.

Born and raised in Sydney, Karin graduated in archaeology from the University of Sydney in 1989, and obtained a doctorate in Egyptian archaeology from the University in 2002. In a career spanning nearly three decades, she has worked with expeditions in Egypt (Memphis, Saqqara, Denderah, Abydos, and Theban Tombs 148, 233, 147, 149), Australia, and Jordan (Pella). Karin has enjoyed a long association with Macquarie University, first participating in its excavations in Egypt at Saqqara in 1995.

She is one of few archaeologists with a ‘pan-Mediterranean’ perspective of foreign relations in the Early Bronze Age. As a result, in 2007 she was invited to join the Associated Regional Chronologies of the Ancient Near East Project (ARCANE), funded by the European Science Foundation, the only Egyptian specialist in a team of over 120 international scholars. Her highly-cited work Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Old Kingdom: An Archaeological Perspective (Fribourg/Göttingen, 2009) is a seminal text in the study of international engagement in the third millennium BC.

In 1996 Karin was appointed Assistant Curator of Sydney University's Nicholson Museum, Australia’s largest collection of antiquities from Western Asia. She oversaw a major capital works expansion, curated exhibitions, and conducted extensive research, publication and public engagement with a global reach. 

In other roles, Karin has had an extensive career in community service, politics, public policy and business. She has worked with a variety of non-for-profit and church organisations, including over six years as Chief Executive Officer of Anglican Deaconess Ministries Ltd (2008-2015) and non-executive Director of national charity Mission Australia (2008-2017). In the early 1990s, Karin served as an Australian Democrats Senator for NSW in the Parliament of Australia, then the youngest woman to do so. During that time she was party spokesperson for Education and Youth, including the higher education sector.

Education/Academic qualification

Archaeology, PhD, University of Sydney

1 Jan 199531 May 2001

Archaeology, Bachelor of Arts (Hons), University of Sydney

19851989

External positions

Director, Capitol Research Pty Ltd

Feb 2015Jul 2017

Chief Executive Officer, Anglican Deaconess Ministries Ltd

Sep 2008Feb 2015

Non-Executive Director, Mission Australia

Jul 2008Nov 2017

Honorary Associate, Department of Archeaology, University of Sydney

20042011

Assistant Curator, The Nicholson Museum, University of Sydney

Aug 1996Dec 2005

Principal, Capitol Research

19931996

Senator for NSW, Commonwealth Parliament of Australia

Sep 1991Jun 1993

Undergraduate and postgraduate student, University of Sydney

Mar 1985Sep 1991

Account Executive, Jardine Insurance Brokers Australia

19831985

Account Executive, Alexander Howden Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd

Aug 19801982

Stablehand, NC Begg, Racehorse Trainer

Jan 1979Jul 1980

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 9 Similar Profiles
Egypt Arts & Humanities
Egyptians Arts & Humanities
Dynasty Arts & Humanities
Tombs Arts & Humanities
Chronology Arts & Humanities
Burial Arts & Humanities
Southern Levant Arts & Humanities
Early Bronze Age Arts & Humanities

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2017 2022

Research Outputs 1994 2019

Becoming Osiris: restoration and elite emulation of a mummy from Late New Kingdom Egypt

Sowada, K., Power, R., Jacobsen, G., Murphy, T., Bertuch, F., Jenkinson, A., Carruthers, J. & Magnussen, J. S., 4 Jun 2019, (Submitted) In : Antiquity.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

The petrography of imported Levantine Combed vessels from early Old Kingdom Giza

Sowada, K., Ownby, M. F. & Wodzinska, A., 13 Jul 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Levant.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Petrography
petrography
workers' settlement
vessel
Bronze Age

Fake till you make it: an imitation combed jar from Old Kingdom Giza

Sowada, K., 2018, Bulletin de liaison de la céramique Égyptienne. Marchand, S. (ed.). Cairo: Institut Français d'archéologie orientale, Vol. 28. p. 117-122 6 p. 4. (Bulletin de la céramique égyptienne (BCE); vol. 28).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Old Kingdom
Imitation
Fake
Jar
Egyptians

Hidden exports: a likely Early Bronze Age exchange in Egyptian cattle to the Levant

Sowada, K., 21 Jun 2018, In : Bulletin of the Australian Centre for Egyptology. 26, p. 71-78 8 p., 6.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Egyptians
Egypt
Early Bronze Age
Cattle
Domestic Animals

Stone Vessels

Sowada, K., 2018, Associated Regional Chronologies for the Ancient Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean: ARCANE Interregional Vol. II: Artefacts. Lebeau, M. (ed.). Turnhout: Brepols, p. 245-276 32 p. (Associated Regional Chronologies for the Ancient Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Stone Vessels
Mesopotamia
Elites
Iran
Crete

Activities 2012 2019

  • 10 Invited talk
  • 8 Oral presentation
  • 2 Participating in a conference, workshop, ...
  • 1 Publication Peer-review

Conference Paper: The Trade in Liquid Commodities between Egypt and the Levant during the Early Bronze Age

Karin Sowada (Speaker)
12 Apr 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Seminar Paper: The Trade in Liquid Commodities between Egypt and the Levant during the Early Bronze Age

Karin Sowada (Speaker)
12 Mar 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (Journal)

Karin Sowada (Reviewer)
2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication Peer-review

Invited Lecture "Egyptian Engagement with the Levant during the Third Millennium BC: Trade, Politics, and Chronology"

Karin Sowada (Speaker)
10 Apr 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Fifth Australasian Egyptology Conference

Karin Sowada (Participant)
9 Sep 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipating in a conference, workshop, ...

Press / Media

New light on how the Pyramids were built

Karin Sowada

20/03/19

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Live TV appearance on 'The Drum', ABC-TV

Karin Sowada

21/09/18

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Carbon dating and Biblical Archaeology

Karin Sowada

10/06/18

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

The Tale of the Tattooed Mummy

Karin Sowada

23/05/18

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Results of scanning the tomb of Tutankhamun

Karin Sowada

13/05/18

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment