The Campus Archaeology program is engaged in a variety of research projects relating to MSU’s historic campus. each opportunity for education has resulted in a better understanding of how Michigan Agricultural College grew, and how it reflects changes in educational and technological cultural developments. A number of collaborative research efforts are being developed. Stay tuned to this space for announcements regarding publications.

Site Reports

The Campus Archaeology Program generates site reports for different locations, which are distributed to the MSU Physical Plant. CAP’s site reports are available on a sperate page (, with the more recent repots listed last.


Beneath the Ivory Tower, 2010, Edited by Russell Skowronek and Kenneth E. Lewis, University Press of Florida: Gainesville, Florida. [link to purchase through]

Including contributions by Michigan State Faculty and Administration:

  • Forward by MSU President Louanna K. Simon: “The Importance of the Past in the University of the Future” (pdf)
  • Introduction by MSU Professor of Anthropology Kenneth E. Lewis: “The Archaeology of Academia”
  • Chapter by MSU Professor of Anthropology Kenneth E. Lewis: “Function, Circumstance, and the Archaeological Record: The Elusive Past at Saints’ Rest”
  • Chapter by MSU Professor of Anthropology Jodie O’Gorman: “More than Bricks and Mortar: A Story of Community Archaeology”

Theses and Dissertations

Public Archaeology and Community Engagement at Michigan State University: The Saints’ Rest Archaeological Project, 2007, Heather L. Mustonen, Master’s Thesis, Department of Anthropology, Michigan State University.

Projects and Digital Creations

Capturing Campus Cuisine

This project uses food remains excavated from a historic privy at Michigan State University (MSU) to explore and recreate the food environment of the campus during its Early Period (1855-1870). Archaeological analysis and archival research were used together to investigate historic food production, acquisition, processing/preparation, and consumption, culminating in the recreation of a meal that may have been served on campus in the 1860s.

Campus Archaeology Twine Tour

This is an interactive, “choose your own adventure” digital walking-tour of important historical and archaeological sites on the Michigan State University Campus. It allows users to investigate different places based on their interests, and can always restart the game to take a different path.

On this walking tour, you will visit many of the important sites on campus. There are many paths you can take, extending your tour or just covering the highlights of the historic campus. The Campus Archaeology Program has dug beneath the surface to investigate many of these sites.


Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Values Symposium

For details on the MSU Campus Archaeology Program Session, titled Universities as Examples of Cultural Heritage Planning, Understanding Landscapes, and Being Sustainable, see this blog post. All talks were presented at the Cultural Heritage and Landscape Values Conference. UMass Amherst Center for Heritage and Society. May 14, 2015.

Created Landscapes, Managing Heritage, Being Sustainable, and Learning from the Past: A Land Grant University and Its Campus Archaeology Program. Lynne Goldstein.

How the Michigan State University Campus Archaeology Program Has Examined Sustainability Through Time. Nicole Geske, Lisa Bright, and Amy Michael.

Understanding and Predicting Gendered Space on the Historic Campus at Michigan State University. Amy Michael and Josh Burbank.

What Does it Mean to be Sacred? Campus Archaeology, Authenticity and the Sacred Space of MSU. Katy Meyers Emery.

Reading between the Lines: How MSU Campus Archaeology Evaluates the Past. Blair Zaid and Kate Frederick.

Presentations and Posters

Historic Cuisine On the Go: A Campus Archaeology Program and MSU Food Truck Collaboration. Autumn Painter and Susan Kooiman, presented at the Midwest Archaeological Conference. October 5, 2018.

Archaeology Along the Banks of the Red Cedar: Summary of 2018 Riverbank Survey. Jeffrey Painter, Autumn Painter, and Jack Biggs, presented at the Midwest Archaeological Conference. October 5, 2018.

Capturing Campus Cuisine: An 1860s Luncheon Reconstruction at MSU. Susan Kooiman and Autumn Painter, presented at the Midwest Archaeological Conference. October 21, 2017.

Michigan State University’s Campus Archaeology Program: What We’ve Done and What We’ve Learned. Lynne Goldstein, presented at the Midwest Archaeological Conference. November 6, 2015.

The Only Thing Constant is Change: Maintaining Continuity in the MSU Campus Archaeology Program. Bright, Lisa, Katy Meyers Emery, and Kate Frederick, presented at the Midwest Archaeological Conference. November 6, 2015.

More Than Just Nightsoil: Preliminary Findings from Michigan State University’s First Privy. Bright, Lisa, Katy Meyers Emery and Amy Michaels, poster presented at the Midwest Archaeological Conference. November 6, 2015.

Digital Public Archaeology Reconsidered: Lessons from Michigan State University’s Campus Archaeology Program. Lynne Goldstein, presented at the Society for American Archaeology. April 17, 2015.

Social Media for Engagement, Communication, and Collaboration: The MSU Campus Archaeology Program. Katy Meyers and Lynne Goldstein. Invited presentation for the Midwest Historic Archaeology Conference. September 28, 2014.

The Heart of MSU’s Campus: Investigation of MSU’s Changing Landscape, Identity and Priorities. 2013, Sabrina Perlman and Katy Meyers, poster presented at the MSU Graduate Academic Conference, East Lansing, MI.

Teaching Archaeology via Campus Archaeology: What Have We Learned? Lynne Goldstein, presented at the Midwest Archaeological Conference, October 18, 2012.

“Green from the Beginning”: Documenting Sustainability Practices Through Time at MSU. 2012, Amy Michaels and Jen Bengston, poster presented at MSU Graduate Academic Conference, East Lansing, MI.

Dusting off our Past: Campus Archaeology and Research Methods. 2012, Kristin Sewell, Katy Meyers, and Lynne Goldstein, poster presented at MSU Graduate Academic Conference, East Lansing, MI.

What’s for Supper? Food Preference and Availablity at the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, 2011, Grace Krause, poster presented at Midwest Historical Archaeology Conference. East Lansing, Michigan.

Teaching Archaeology and Community Engagement Through Blogging: A Public Archaeology Field School Project at Michigan State University, 2011, Terry P. Brock, presented at Society for American Archaeology Conference, Sacramento, California.

Social Media as Public Archaeology, 2011, Terry P. Brock and Sarah Nohe presented at Society for American Archaeology Conference, Sacramento, California.

Connecting Campus to Campus Archaeology: Using Digital Social Media for Community Outreach and Engagement, 2010, Terry P. Brock and Lynne Goldstein, Poster presented at the Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, Amelia Island, Florida.

University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum 
Sustainability at the Brody Landfill. Poster presented by Desirée Quinn.
Learning from Landfills. Poster presented by Cooper Duda.
Testing Seed Longevity via MSU Campus Archaeology. Applying Beal’s Method to Historic Raspberry Seeds. Oral presentation by Rebecca Albert.
Making My Mark at MSU: Maker’s Marks.  Poster presented by Pa Vang
Making Scents Of The Past. Poster presented by Alissa Lyon

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