Archaeologists Uncover Sleeve Buttons in Excavation at Colonial Michilimackinac

Photo Courtesy of Mackinac State Historic Parks

A pair of sleeve buttons are the latest find for Mackinac State Historic Parks archaeologists excavating at a site in Colonial Michilimackinac.

“We are still finding interesting artifacts,” said Dr. Lynn Evans, Mackinac State Historic Parks Curator of Archaeology. “This set of joined sleeve buttons, like a modern cufflink, was found in the 1781 demolition rubble layer. The green glass paste “stones” are set in brass.”

The archaeological dig, which began at Colonial Michilimackinac in 1959, is one of America’s longest-running archaeology programs.

According to Mackinac State Historic Parks, the sleeve buttons were found at an excavation site at House E of the Southeast Rowhouse. House E, officials say, was first occupied by Charles Henri Desjardins de Rupallay de Gonneville, and later by an unidentified English trader.

Along with the pair of buttons, other artifacts have been found by archaeologists during their 64th archaeological field season. These include:

  • Part of a red earthenware bowl
  • One-ounce brass weight marked with a crown over GR, for the king.
  • A second brass weight from a set of nesting apothecary weights, stamped with a fleur-de-lis
  • A King’s 8th button, and more.

Over the years, archaeologists have also found a Compagnie des Indes lead seal dating between 1717 and 1769, a brass sleeve button with an intaglio bust on it, a possible structural post from the original 1715 fort, an engraved “Jesuit” ring, a brass serpentine sideplate for a British trading gun, remnants from a creamware plate and other items, according to Mackinac State Historic Parks.

Archaeologists are on-site at Colonial Michilimackinac and will be excavating until August 20.