The field season has just begun at Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City, and already archaeologists are finding exciting items.
“We had an interesting find late in the week,” said Dr. Lynn Evans, Curator of Archaeology for Mackinac State Historic Parks. “It appears to be an intaglio glass, or possibly crystal, sleeve button, what we would call a cufflink today. We are not sure who the figure is, but it appears to be a Classical figure, which might have appealed to an educated man of the eighteenth century. It was found in what we believe to be the second cellar of the house, where we have been finding British-era artifacts. We have found other intaglios at Michilimackinac, including another one at this house, but the others have all been round and appear to have been busts in the style of the eighteenth century.
“The early weeks of the archaeology season picked up right where we left off last year,” Evans continued.
The root cellar in the southeast corner of the house has yielded a gunflint, a plain pewter button, and part of a bone handle from a knife. Two horizontal planks, perhaps the floor, are starting to be exposed. In addition to the intaglio glass, a plain brass button and an intact heart-shaped trade ring have been excavated in this area.
As Dr. Evans mentioned, the piece was found in the second cellar of House E of the Southeast Rowhouse at Colonial Michilimackinac. The archaeological dig at Michilimackinac began in 1959, making it one of the longest-running archaeology programs in North America. House E was first occupied by Charles Henri Desjardins de Rupallay de Gonneville, and later by an as-yet-unidentified English trader.