2015 Archaeology Field Season in Review

The field season at Michilimackinac is over and as we dive into the winter lab work routine, there is time to reflect on what we learned this summer.

Of course the most notable find of the summer was the intact rosary Rosary (1) .  We will devote some time this winter to trying to answer some of the questions it raised.  Why does it have “extra” beads – is it a Brigittine rosary or are they for some other devotion?  Was it made in France?  How costly would it have been?  Other questions will have to wait for further excavation next season.  The rosary was found in the tenth-of-a-foot level above an as-yet-unidentified clay feature.  The clay is surrounded by cobbles and a plank.  It extends into an adjacent quad, which was partially excavated this summer.

clear cufflinkbrass cufflinks 4The rosary was not the only interesting artifact we found this season.  We continued to find personal adornment items such as cufflinks and buckles.  Other notable artifacts included a glass base glass base, a Jesuit ring and a broken MicMac pipe.MM pipe 1

Jesuit ringDespite their name, Jesuit rings are inexpensive brass trade goods rather than religious artifacts.  MicMac pipes are stone smoking pipes with a three part bowl/neck/base form.  The largest single artifact we excavated was a barrel band.  It was about four feet long, and excavating it in tenth-of-a-foot levels, we had been gradually exposing it since 2013!

Some artifacts were interesting because of the context they were found in.  Parallel rows of worked cobbles indicated the fallen remains of the fireplace.  One of these cobbles crushed a pane of glass when it fell.

IMGP0727Other interesting features excavated this summer included remnants of the south wall of the house and a refuse pit in the south yard of the house.  IMGP0714Not all of features were colonial.  When opening new squares in the interior of the house, we encountered two concrete pillars from the stocks that were displayed in the fort in the 1960s.

Over the winter all of the artifacts we excavated this summer will be cleaned, identified, counted, entered into our collections database and stored.  The photos will be downloaded.  The maps and records will be organized and filed.  And when spring comes, we will head back out into the field to learn more about the residents of House E.

5 Responses to “2015 Archaeology Field Season in Review”

  1. Bonnie Cederholm-Watson

    I dropped off a small of blue and white pice of a plate/cup this last summer in July. I was reenacting with Rogers Rangers Battalion.I found it in Lake Huron, not too far from the fort, years ago. Has anyone determined if it may be a part of the dinnerware used at the fort?
    I am curious if you found out yet
    Thank You

    Bonnie

    Reply
    • Kelsey Schnell

      Hi Bonnie –

      Although the sherd was quite water-worn, it appears to be pearlware, which post-dates Michilimackinac. It probably came from a passing boat.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  2. Bonnie Cederholm-Watson

    I dropped off a small of blue and white pice of a plate/cup this last summer in July. I was reenacting with Rogers Rangers Battalion.I found it in Lake Huron, not too far from the fort, years ago. Has anyone determined if it may be a part of the dinnerware used at the fort?

    Thank You

    Bonnie

    Reply
  3. james monette

    Hello, I live in Castleton Vermont. Recently I found a flat button with its shank. It is engraved with fourteen fleur d lis imprints as well as small star like engravings scattered about. All this is surrounded with a curving filagree. There is a boarder line on the edge of the button. the back of the button has turned spirals on it. There may have been a gilding on the front. It looks like the back has been tinned. There is no doubt that the markings point to a French origin. I am wondering if you may have some input on this button. The house I found it under is an 18th century house. I have also found broken pieces of patinated crown glass.

    Reply
    • Dominick Miller

      Hi James,

      Sounds like a great find! I have forwarded your comment to members of our staff that may be able to assist you. Thank you for reading, and a member of our staff will be in contact.

      Reply

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