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: 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


Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology.

I am an historical archaeologist. My 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 settlements.

I practice archaeology in collaboration with local residents, community organizations and government agencies. Through these partnerships I apply archaeological findings to examine topics of social justice, diaspora, and  contribute to historic preservation. 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

    • James Deetz Award, Society for Historical Archaeology, 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

Google Scholar Citation Index

Courses taught by Krysta Ryzewski

Fall Term 2023 (future)

Fall Term 2022