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Contact Information:
(517) 432-0069

Ethan Watrall

Curator of Archaeology

An anthropological archaeologist who has worked in Canada, the United States, Egypt, and the Sudan, Ethan Watrall is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Michigan State University. He also serves Director of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative and Director of the Digital Heritage Innovation Lab. In 2022, Ethan was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries in recognition of his work in publicly engaged digital heritage, digital preservation in heritage and archaeology, and digital collections. From 2009-2020, Ethan served as Associate Director of Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences. Currently, he is the Co-Director of the National Park Service funded Internment Archaeology Digital Archive. Over the past 10 years Ethan has served as Director, Co-Director, or Co-PI of numerous large, externally funded projects including the NEH funded Institute for Digital Archaeological Method and Practice, the NEH Funded ARCS: Archaeological Resource Cataloguing System project, the NEH funded Digital Archive of Malian Photography project, and the Andrew W. Mellon funded Enslaved: People of the Historic Slave Trade project. Generally speaking, his scholarly interests lie in how digital methods and computational approaches can be leveraged to preserve and provide access to archaeological and heritage materials, collections, knowledge, and data in order to facilitate research, advance knowledge, fuel interpretation, and democratize our collective understanding and appreciation of the past. His work is currently particularly focused on digital documentation and preservation of tangible heritage and archaeological materials, augmented reality and mobile experiences in heritage and archaeology spaces, and physical computing and tangible fabrication in heritage institutions.

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