Good Things to Eat

Our project goes seven days a week because our site is located in the middle of a living history museum, and public education is a huge part of our mission.  Because of this I am off Friday-Saturday and work Sunday-Thursday, so I did my Day of Archaeology about July 31.

I’m the Curator of Archaeology for Mackinac State Historic Parks and in the summer my main responsibility is to direct the archaeological excavation at Colonial Michilimackinac State Historic Park.  This is the 58th season of excavation at the park and the ninth season of our current project, House E of the Southeast Row House.  You can read more about the project at my previous Day of Archaeology blogs.

We are trying to wrap things up in the southern part of the house this summer, but we won’t get it all done, because we have discovered a root cellar.

John excavating in the root cellar.

John excavating in the root cellar. (Photo by L Evans)

There were no special finds today, just the usual fish bones, glass seed beads, lead shot and broken glass.  Over the course of the summer, we have recovered buttons, cufflinks, a Jesuit ring, hawkbells, fishhooks, a keyhole escutcheon from a piece of furniture and an iron projectile point.

We each take a day a week to talk to our guests, informally as families pass through the site, and four times a day for organized walking tours led by costumed historical interpreters.  This weekend we had a special event, “Gardens and Good Things to East” weekend, so two of my tour talks focused on what we have learned about food ways from archaeology.

Julia offers radish pods to a walking tour.

Julia offers radish pods to a walking tour. (photo by L Evans)

One of the perks of working at a living history site is getting to sample some of the food demonstrations.

John, portraying a British soldier, brings us part of a loaf of fresh-baked bread.

John bringing fresh-baked bread from the clay bake oven. (photo by L Evans)