Archaeology Program


Archaeology is the branch of Anthropology that studies the history of human societies through their material remains. The Archaeology Program at Wayne State offers students comprehensive methodological and theoretical training in anthropological archaeology and contemporary issues within the field. Students benefit from numerous hands-on research and fieldwork opportunities within and beyond the university. Graduate students may pursue a MA or PhD in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology. MA students may focus on Archaeology generally, or may pursue a more specific focus in either Public Archaeology or Museum Studies.  Ph.D. students will work towards an Anthropology degree with a special focus in an area of Archaeology that is relevant to their interests and faculty expertise. Prospective students are encouraged to address questions about pursuing a MA degree vs. a PhD degree to Dr. Chrisomalis and the archaeology faculty.

Opportunities to participate in faculty research vary from year to year. In recent years members of the archaeology faculty have conducted archaeological research in Michigan, Ecuador, Mexico, the Caribbean, and other parts of North America. The Department also maintains a strong commitment to the archaeology of urban Detroit and offers fieldwork opportunities at local archaeological sites on a regular basis. The faculty encourages field research early in graduate training and funding is available for student fieldwork.


Core Archaeology Faculty (click on individual names for bio and contact information)

Tamara L. Bray (Ph.D., SUNY Binghamton 1991; Professor of Anthropology, Director of Grosscup
Museum of Anthropology) Interests: Andean archaeology; complex societies; museum anthropology;
archaeological method and theory; repatriation; Inca; Ecuador. Sabbatical Fall 2017

Thomas W. Killion (Ph.D., New Mexico 1987; Associate Professor of Anthropology, Interim Chair of
Anthropology) Interests: Anthropological archaeology; ethnoarchaeology; settlement; agriculture;
environment; ethics; repatriation; Mesoamerica; North America

Krysta Ryzewski (Ph.D., Brown 2008; Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Interim Director of Grosscup Museum of Anthropology 2013-14) Interests: Historical and contemporary archaeology; urban
archaeology; archaeometry; industrial and craft production; ethics; Caribbean; North America. 


Current and Upcoming* Archaeology Courses taught by Core Archaeology Faculty

Fall 2017

ANT 3020 - Introduction to Archaeology; Dr. Killion

ANT 3200 - Lost Cities and Civilizations; Dr. Ryzewski

ANT 5510 - Pre-Columbian and Mesoamerican Civilization; Dr Killion

ANT 6570 - Archaeological Laboratory Analysis; Dr. Ryzewski



All Courses Offered by Core Archaeology Faculty

(students should refer to the WSU Course Bulletin for corresponding ANT course numbers)

  • Archaeological Theory and Method (Concepts and Techniques in Archaeology)
  • Archaeology of the Atlantic World
  • Archaeology of Religion
  • Cultural Resource Management and Public Archaeology
  • Grant Proposal Writing for the Social Sciences
  • Great Lakes Archaeology
  • Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology
  • Historical Archaeology
  • Inca and their Ancestors
  • Introduction to Archaeology
  • Archaeological Field Methods
  • Archaeological Laboratory Analysis
  • Lost Cities and Ancient Civilizations
  • Material Culture and the Social Meaning of Things
  • Mesoamerican Archaeology
  • Museum Studies
  • Native American Archaeology
  • Urban Archaeology
  • Graduate students may also take Independent Directed Study courses with archaeology faculty to gain experience with topics that may not offered but are relevant to their professional development.


Research Projects Please view the Archaeology Research Page



The Archaeology and Physical Anthropology Laboratories, housed in the Grosscup Museum of Anthropology, include facilities for mapping, computerized drafting, photography, spatial analysis, ceramic analysis, and statistical research, as well as important comparative collections. The Museum contains fairly extensive collections of local historical and contemporary material culture that are available for student research.



Archaeologists at Wayne State work closely with:

  • the Gordon Grosscup Museum of Anthropology, Wayne State
  • the Anthropology of the City initiative, Wayne State, Dept. of Anthropology
  • Wayne State Depts. of Geological Sciences, Urban Studies, History, and Engineering
  • Wayne State University’s six campus libraries
  • the Foreign Language and Technology Center, Wayne State
  • the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library
  • local groups: the Detroit Historical Society, Preservation Detroit, Community Development Councils
  • local museums: the Detroit Historical Museum, the Detroit Institute of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and many others.

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