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 is Director of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative and Director of the Digital Heritage Imaging & Innovation Lab (which is a partnership between the Department of Anthropology and The Lab for the Education and Advancement in Digital Research). Ethan is Head of Tangible Heritage & Archaeology Projects at Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences, where he served as Associate Director from 2009-2020. Ethan also serves as Adjunct Curator of Archaeology at the Michigan State University Museum.
Ethan’s scholarship focuses on the application of digital methods and computational approaches within archaeology and heritage. This focus expresses itself broadly in three domains: (1) publicly engaged digital heritage and archaeology; (2) digital documentation and preservation of tangible heritage and archaeological materials; and (3) building capacity and communities of practice in digital heritage and archaeology. The thematic thread that binds these domains together is one of preservation and access – leveraging digital methods and computational approaches 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 understanding and appreciation of the past.