Your Instructor

 Andrew Upton

Hello! My name is Andy Upton and I am your instructor for this course. I am an anthropological archaeologist and doctoral candidate at MSU.  My dissertation research focuses on the central importance of the composition and structure of networks of interaction and social identification in assessing how both indigenous and migrant peoples approach interethnic relations. I model the nature of coexistence in multiethnic social environments using archaeological data across the Middle to Late Mississippian transition in the Late Prehistoric central Illinois River valley (ca. A.D. 1200-1400), where I have been working since 2011 as part of the Morton Village project.

I’m also engaged in research supported by the Ruth Landes Memorial Fund, a program of the Reed Foundation, to investigate the historicity of patterns of interethnic interaction among the Santee Dakota and Ojibwa of the Upper Great Lakes.

Besides Illinois, I have done archaeological fieldwork in Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, and southern California. I’ve worked in a variety of capacities as an archaeologist – for the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Museum, the National Park Service at Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the National Forest Service at Los Padres National Forest, and for Aecom. My interests outside of anthropology include traveling, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, performing with my band, and taking my dog Avey and fiancee on urban adventures. 

I look forward to working with you all this summer. Please do not hesitate to write to me with questions about the course or anthropology/archaeology in general!


uptonand [at] msu [dot] edu


EthanEthan Watrall

An anthropological archaeologist who has worked throughout North America and the Middle East, Ethan Watrall is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology ( and Associate Director of MATRIX: The Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences ( at Michigan State University. In addition, Ethan is Director of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative ( and the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool ( at Michigan State University.  Currently, Ethan is Co-PI of the NEH funded ARCS: Archaeological Resource Cataloguing System project and the Director of the NEH funded Institute for Digital Archaeological Method and Practice. Ethan’s interest primarily fall in the domain of digital public archaeology and heritage, with particular interest in mobile digital public heritage and digital heritage mapping for public outreach and engagement. Ethan is co-editor of Archaeology 2.0: New Tools for Communication and Collaboration, an open access volume published by the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press