Krysta Ryzewski

Faculty Profile

Department Chair



Secondary Title

Department Chair


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

Selected Publications

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

Research Description

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, and Montserrat (and soon, 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 (MA and PhD) 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 direclty with inquiries.  

Research Project Links:

Unearthing Detroit project (PI since 2012)
Old Hamtramck Center (PI since 2018 in collaboration with Hamtramck Historical Museum)
Survey and Landscape Archaeology on Montserrat (co-PI since 2010)
Enduring Materialities of Colonialism (EMoC) on St. Croix (Key/Senior Research Partner, delayed start/COVID, 2021-2025)
Ethnic Layers of Detroit (co-PI since 2014) 

Affiliated Departments