Krysta Ryzewski

Krysta Ryzewski

Associate Professor, Archaeology
Department Chair

3034 F/AB and 1208 Old Main (offices); 1114 Old Main (lab)


Social media


Krysta Ryzewski



Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Expertise: Historical and contemporary archaeology
  • Research areas: North America and Caribbean
  • Research topics: Cities, diaspora, land-use, material culture and archaeometry, historic preservation and heritage, resilience and social welfare and creative expression


I currently serve as chair of the Department of Anthropology.

I am also an archaeologist, and my research combines material culture and documentary sources to understand how people navigated the unprecedented social pressures, systemic inequalities and environmental changes that accompanied the development of late modern-postindustrial North American cities and Caribbean settlements.

I practice archaeology in collaboration with local residents, community organizations and government agencies. Through these partnerships I apply archaeological findings to address the legacies of social justice issues, contribute to historic preservation efforts and foster sustainable heritage management. I also enlist my experience with materials science/archaeometry, remote sensing, and digital humanities in designing my research and disseminating results. Over the past two decades, I have conducted fieldwork on land and underwater in the Midwest, New England and Caribbean; my current work involves projects on sites in Detroit, Hamtramck, Montserrat and St. Croix. I recently completed multi-year terms on Wayne State's Academic Senate and the Board of Directors of Preservation Detroit. I currently serve as vice chair of Michigan's State Historic Preservation Review Board and as a member of the Education Committee for the Hamtramck Historical Museum. Since 2020 I have been a co-editor of the American Experience in Archaeological Perspective historical archaeology book series for the University Press of Florida. 

I am currently recruiting graduate students (M.A. and Ph.D.) whose interests overlap with my topics of expertise (see above). Prospective graduate students are encouraged to contact the department to request more information about our graduate programs or email me directly with inquiries.  

Research project links


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Archaeology & Engineering, Brown University, 2008-2011
  • Ph.D, Anthropology, Brown University, 2008
  • M.Phil, Archaeology and Heritage Management, University of Cambridge, 2003
  • B.A., Archaeology, Boston University, 2001

Awards and grants

  • Grants: National Endowment for the Humanities, National Geographic Society, National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, American Association for University Women, U.S. Department of Energy

  • Career Development Chair, 2019-2020

  • The Explorers Club, Fellow National, 2018

  • John L. Cotter Award, Society for Historical Archaeology, 2017

  • Junior Faculty Research Award, Wayne State University Academy of Scholars, 2016-17

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teaching Award, 2016

Selected publications

Currently teaching

ANT5280 - Archaeological Fieldwork in the Americas

Courses taught

  • ANT2020 - Global Detroit (Gen Ed) 
  • ANT2200 - Lost Cities and Ancient Civilizations (Gen Ed) 
  • ANT3020 - Introduction to Archaeology
  • ANT3111 - Digital Storytelling and Ethnic Detroit (Gen Ed)
  • ANT5270 - Archaeological Concepts and Techniques
  • ANT5280 - Archaeological Field Methods (Fieldwork in the Americas)
  • ANT5500 - Historical Archaeology  
  • ANT5560 - Urban Archaeology
  • ANT6570 - Archaeological Laboratory Methods
  • ANT5515 - Archaeology of the Atlantic World

Citation index

Google Scholar Citation Index