Mid-Season Archaeology Review

Knife found in the root cellar.

We are just past the midpoint of the archaeological field season at Colonial Michilimackinac. It has been exciting so far!

Ramrod pipe.

We have opened one new quad, which is still in twentieth-century deposit. Another is still in 1781 demolition rubble. We found a ramrod pipe in the rubble, only the third gun part from this house.

Longtime readers of this blog may remember that late last season we found a row of posts in the interior of the house (Oct. 13, 2017). They have been fully exposed and are now being removed. Our current hypothesis is that they are some type of joist support.

Table knife.

In the center of the house we seem to be bottoming out onto the rocky beach that underlies the entire fort. A possible French military button and a five-inch section of a bone-handled table knife were excavated from this area. Other interesting artifacts from the interior of the house include a thimble, a drawer handle, and a brass jaw harp.

Thimble with thread.

The root cellar has been the richest area of all. Both the northwest and southwest corner posts and adjacent planks of the cellar lining have been exposed. Trade goods and personal items have been recovered. A seven-inch case knife blade was discovered near where two other knife blades have been found in previous years. A twenty-eight-inch section of barrel band was adjacent to it. The most unusual trade good found was a brass thimble with a hole punched in it. Thimbles were sometimes perforated

and strung on thread for adornment. A small fragment of string was found in the thimble, preserved by the copper salts of the brass. A fragment of a catlinite Micmac smoking pipe was the most recent notable trade good find.

Creamware.

Smoking pipe fragment.

In the personal realm, the cellar has continued to yield the variety of ceramics which have been the hallmark of this house. Four fragments, making up about half of a feather-edge creamware plate were found together. Two sherds, which fit together to make part of a saucer, were found in separate levels of the cellar. A third sherd, which appears to be from the same saucer, is sticking out of the profile wall.

Archaeology Supervisor Alex Conell excavating the creamware plate.

What exciting discoveries await in the second half of the field season? Stay tuned to this blog for a season wrap-up in September. For a first-hand view, come out and visit Colonial Michilimackinac. Archaeologists will be on-site (weather permitting) from 9-5 every day through August 25.

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