Commission-sponsored archaeology began at Colonial Michilimackinac in 1959 and has continued every summer since then. Extensive excavations have been carried out at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park and Fort Mackinac, and smaller projects at the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse barn, Mackinac Island Biddle House and throughout Mackinac Island State Park.
The archaeological collection includes over one million items: artifacts, floral and faunal remains. The collection is particularly strong in artifacts relating to the fur trade, such as seed beads, lead shot and straight pins. Building materials are also well represented. Artifacts date from prehistoric times to the twentieth century. They come from Native American, French, British and American contexts, both civilian and military.
Some of the most important pieces from the collection are displayed in Treasures From The Sand exhibit at Colonial Michilimackinac. Other pieces from the collection are exhibited in other Colonial Michilimackinac, Fort Mackinac and Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park exhibits. The collection is also available for scholarly research. Please contact the curator of collections. Numerous publications about archaeology at MSHP are available. See Books & Museum Publications for current titles.
|Colonial Michilimackinac Archaeological Artifacts|
|Fort Mackinac Archaeological Artifacts|
|Historic Mill Creek Archaeological Artifacts|
|Mackinac Island State Park Archaeological Artifacts|