Faculty Advisor

Dr. Linwood Cousins



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Our current research design is oriented toward identifying evidence of eighteenth-century activities in the vicinity of Fort St. Joseph and collecting architectural data to understand the building styles and construction techniques at the site. Excavations have identified eighteenth-century artifacts throughout the Niles vicinity, although most of the archaeological materials contemporaneous with the fort have been found adjacent to a series of fireplaces uncovered since 2002.

Six 1 x 2 meter units were opened this field season in locations where we expected to intercept walls in order to ascertain the size, orientation, construction methods, and contents of the buildings associated with the fireplaces along the river. In one of these units, four structural stones (10 to 15 cm long) were found in a linear orientation, which we designated as Feature 26. These stones appear similar to ones found in two other partial foundation walls associated with other buildings on the site. Further excavation is needed to determine their function and association with other architectural features.

Notable artifacts found this year include: a French marine military button, a Type D French flintlock sideplate, a copper alloy bell, a ring with blue glass insets, and two lead seals (see artifacts). The seals testify to the volume of cloth that was imported to the site.