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THE SEARCH FOR FORT ST. JOSEPH (1691-1781) IN NILES, MICHIGAN

Michael S. Nassaney, William M. Cremin, Renee Kurtzweil, José António Brandão and Renne Kurtweill
Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology
Vol. 28, No. 2 (Fall, 2003), pp. 107-144
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20708196
Page Count: 38
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THE SEARCH FOR FORT ST. JOSEPH (1691-1781) IN NILES, MICHIGAN
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Abstract

The site of Fort St. Joseph (1691-1781) was recently discovered by Western Michigan University archaeologists in Niles, Michigan. As one of the most important eighteenth-century colonial outposts in the western Great Lakes, the fort was a major commercial center and a vital link in New France's communication and transportation network. A survey conducted in 1998 located a deposit of Colonial-period artifacts and animal food remains. Subsequent work in 2002 revealed the presence of preserved ecological, artifactual, and structural remains in undisturbed stratigraphic context associated with the Fort St. Joseph community. Here we discuss the historical and cultural context of this locality, our background research and survey methodology, together with our preliminary findings, and briefly present the results of our 2002 test excavations at the site. The site has great potential to contribute to a better understanding of the material and social conditions at an early colonial outpost in New France.

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