Krysta Ryzewski is an anthropologically trained archaeologist who specializes in the archaeology of the recent past around the Atlantic (post-medieval to present), as well as in interdisciplinary approaches to material culture. Her experience in archaeology is diverse and ranges from numerous surveys and excavations around the Atlantic (on land and underwater), to heritage management and museum studies, to materials science, and to community archaeology.
Krysta wears two hats as a researcher - one in archaeology and one in the materials science branch of engineering. Encompassing these two fields, Krysta’s primary research interests are in the craft & production of materials, the transfer of technology and technical knowledge, and cross-craft / cross-industry and multicultural sites of production over time. In archaeology Krysta focuses on how these processes are manifested in colonial situations and pre-Industrial Revolution contexts – particularly North America and the Caribbean.
Krysta directs the archaeological research components of the Greene Farm Archaeology Project, a multifaceted landscape archaeology of one of the last remaining Providence Plantations in Rhode Island. The site is home to over 5,000 years of occupational history, including one of the only undisturbed 17th-century domestic archaeological deposits in the region. The extraordinary materials excavated from this area of structures are reshaping what we know about the relationships between groups of people, technologies, space, and material culture during the early colonial period, a time of adaptation, innovation, production, and conflict. She is also involved in ongoing archaeological projects on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, the Anglo-American Antiquarians project (addressing the early history of the discipline), and in regular local heritage and archaeology community-based survey and preservation projects. Additionally, Krysta is interested in multimedia approaches to archaeology, which complements the continuous public outreach and preservation components of her work. Recent examples include her involvement with the weblog Archaeolog, the creation of a digital multimedia context form (Archaeotechnics) in collaboration with colleagues from archaeology, computer science, and the scholarly technology group, and also her edited volume, Experience, Modes of Engagement, Archaeology (Archaeologies, Dec. 2009).
In engineering, Krysta leads a multi-disciplinary effort with the Material Matters Research Group, an assembly of graduate student, faculty, and undergraduates who are conducting research with or are contributing to the research analysis of archaeological materials using traditional and experimental techniques from materials sciences, engineering, and related disciplines (e.g. geosciences, chemistry). Her particular material expertise is in metals. Copper and iron mining, and associated products, sites, and the question of innovation are the current focus of her archaeometallurgical research.
Though it may take a while, Krysta fully intends to blend, through her teaching and publications, her two researcher’s hats into one.
- Ph.D, Anthropology (Brown University 2008)
- MPhil, Archaeological Heritage Management and Museum Studies (University of Cambridge 2003)
- B.A., Archaeology (Boston University 2001)
Teaching and Research Supervision
- Discovering the Past! Introduction to Prehistory and Archaeology (Summer 2007, 2008, & 2009)
- The Archaeology of College Hill (Fall 2008 & 2009)
- 13 Things (Fall 2009)
- Engineering Material Culture: An Introduction to Archaeological Science (Spring 2009 & 2010)
- Material Matters: Archaeology meets Materials Science (co-director and project designer for Undergraduate Research Team, UTRA, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & Division of Engineering, summer 2008)