Suzanne Davis

Suzanne Davis


  • Email:
  • Phone: 734.647.0439
  • Office: Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 434 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1390
  • M.A. 1998, New York University
  • CV

Research Interests


  • Conservation of archaeological heritage
  • Ancient materials and technology
  • Community-engaged archaeological research and site development
  • Site presentation, visitor experience, and exhibition strategies for archaeological heritage


  • Egypt
  • Sudan
  • Turkey

Research Description

I direct conservation for the Kelsey Museum’s collection and historic building, and I currently lead conservation programs for the museum’s Abydos Middle Cemetery project in Egypt, the El-Kurru and Jebel Barkal projects in Sudan, and the Notion Archaeological Survey project in Turkey. Before joining the Kelsey, I spent three years as a conservator for the U.S. Navy’s Underwater Archaeology Branch.

Most of my research focuses on investigating conservation problems and improving preservation outcomes for archaeological sites and collections, but I’m also interested in ancient materials, technology, and production processes. My current research projects are diverse: conservation materials for use in increasingly hot climates, preservation of ancient painted wood, conservation of ancient graffiti, and preservation and presentation strategies for ancient cities.

As a museum curator for conservation, and a director of conservation for multiple sites, I’m also interested in how conservation and archaeology are communicated to non-specialists. Visitor experience, site presentation, and museum exhibition strategies are topics I work on, as is community-engaged practice in these areas.

More broadly, I’ve written about and continue to study business practice in conservation, focusing on compensation and improving gender equity in the discipline. With the American Institute for Conservation, I’m also engaged in projects designed to help early- and mid-career conservators with research and publication productivity.