Krysta Ryzewski

Krysta Ryzewski

Professor, Archaeology
Department Chair


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


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Krysta Ryzewski

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Expertise: Archaeology and Historic Preservation
  • Research areas: North America, Caribbean, Atlantic World
  • Research topics: Cities; islands; diaspora, immigration, and slavery; land-use; material culture and archaeometry; historic preservation; resilience, social welfare and creative expression


Dr. Ryzewski is a Professor of Anthropology with expertise in archaeology. She currently serves as Department Chair.

Her archaeological research combines material culture and documentary sources to understand how people navigated social pressures, systemic inequalities and environmental changes that accompanied the development of late modern-postindustrial North American cities and Caribbean island settlements.

Dr. Ryzewski practices archaeology in collaboration with local residents, community organizations, and government agencies. Through these partnerships she applies archaeological findings to examine topics of social justice, diaspora/immigration, and historic preservation. Her expertise in materials science, archaeometry, remote sensing, and digital humanities is also integrated into her research designs and dissemination practices.

Over the past two decades, she has conducted fieldwork on land and underwater in the Midwest, New England and Caribbean. Her current work involves projects on sites in Detroit, Hamtramck, Montserrat, and St. Croix. She has served multi-year terms on Wayne State's Academic Senate and the Board of Directors of Preservation Detroit. She currently serves as Chair of Michigan's State Historic Preservation Review Board and she is a member of the Education Committee for the Hamtramck Historical Museum. She co-edits the American Experience in Archaeological Perspective historical archaeology book series for the University Press of Florida. 

Dr. Ryzewski is currently accepting inquiries from prospective graduate students (M.A. and Ph.D.) whose interests overlap with her expertise. Prospective graduate students are encouraged to contact the department to request more information about our graduate programs or email her directly.  

Research projects

North America:



  • 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


  • 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


  • James Deetz Award, Society for Historical Archaeology, 2023
  • Board of Governors Award, Wayne State University, 2023
  • Center for Historic Preservation Annual Book Prize, University of Mary Washington, 2022
  • Career Development Chair, 2019-2020
  • Explorers Club, Fellow National, 2018
  • John L. Cotter Award, Society for Historical Archaeology, 2017
  • Junior Faculty Research Award, Wayne State Academy of Scholars, 2016-2017
  • Teaching Award, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 2016

Selected publications

Citation index

Courses taught by Krysta Ryzewski

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Winter Term 2024

Fall Term 2023

Fall Term 2022