Krysta Ryzewski

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Historical and Contemporary Archaeology: North America & the Caribbean


I am a historical and contemporary archaeologist. My scholarship focuses on social and environmental upheavals, systemic inequalities, and creative responses to them in the modern world. My research in the Caribbean (Montserrat/St. Croix), southeast Michigan (Detroit/Hamtramck), and New England examines these issues within different settings and circumstances: colonial, diasporic, urban, industrial, and even music venues. I use a variety of methods in my work: survey, excavation, materials science/archaeometry, archival research, digital humanities, and geo-spatial analysis. I prioritize practicing archaeology in collaboration with local communities, organizations, and government agencies, with an eye towards confronting issues of equitable resource access, social justice, collaborative heritage management, and sustainability. I am currently serving terms on Wayne State's Academic Senate, Michigan's State Historic Preservation Review Board, and the Board of Directors of Preservation Detroit. I co-edit the American Experience in Archaeological Perspective historical archaeology book series for the University Press of Florida. 

I encourage prospective graduate students (MA or PhD) with interests in historical archaeology, heritage management, or other shared areas of expertise to contact me by email before applying to our graduate program. 


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

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, US 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 Award, Wayne State University Academy of Scholars, 2016-17

    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teaching Award, 2016

Selected publications

The Archaeological History of Montserrat in the West Indies (book co-authored with John F. Cherry), Oxbow, Oxford, 2020.

Detroit 139: Archaeology and the Future-Making of a Post-Industrial City, Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 6(1), 2019. 

Contemporary Archaeology and the City: Creativity, Ruination, and Political Action. (book edited with Laura McAtackney), Oxford University Press, 2017.

Archaeological assessment reveals Earth's early transformation through land use. Lucas Stephens, et al. (K. Ryzewski, contributing author), Science, 365(6456): 897-902, August 2019.

For a complete list of publications see:

Currently teaching

  • ANT5280 - Archaeological Field Methods (Fall 2020)

    ANT2020 - Global Detroit (Fall 2020)


Courses taught

ANT2020 - Global Detroit (Gen Ed) 

ANT3020 - Introduction to Archaeology

ANT3200 - Lost Cities and Ancient Civilizations (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