Archaeology at Mackinac
This talk will be an overview of recent archaeological projects at Michilimackinac, an eighteenth century fortified trading village on the Straits of Mackinac, and site of one of the longest on-going archaeological projects in North America.
Site background from the Mackinac State Historic Parks website:
In 1959, the Mackinac Island State Park Commission contracted with Michigan State University to carry out a season of excavation at Michilimackinac. Thus began an archaeological project that has continued every summer since, one of the longest ongoing projects of its kind. Much of the west half of the fort was excavated and rebuilt during the 1960s. By 1969, it was apparent that overseeing archaeology at Michilimackinac was a full-time job, and Dr. Lyle Stone was hired as the commission’s first staff archaeologist. Excavation moved outside the walls in the early 1970s, when three rowhouses from the suburbs of the fort were discovered prior to building the Visitor’s Center under the Mackinac Bridge. In 1974, excavation resumed inside the fort walls. Leaving the west side behind, archaeologists began to work on the powder magazine, which turned out to be the most intact building ruin at Michilimackinac. Work continued in the southeast corner of the fort for the next two decades, including the excavation of multiple rowhouse units, most notably the home of Ezekiel Solomon, Michigan’s first Jewish settler. In 1998, archaeologists returned to the southwest corner of the fort to tie together current results with excavations done in the 1960s.