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Archaeological dig finds pocket knife at Fort Michilimackinac

lump of medal covered in rust in the general shape of a pocket knife.
Mackinac State Historic Parks
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The pocket knife was found in the root cellar of a fur trader’s house.

Archaeologists at Fort Michilimackinac uncovered a pocket knife over the holiday weekend.

Dr. Lynn Evans is the curator of archaeology for Mackinac State Historic Parks.

“We’re excavating a fur trader’s house and it has two root cellars and by the posts of one of the root cellars we found a pocket knife. At the time they were known as clasp knives,” she explains, “That's very exciting because we rarely find things that are whole and intact.”

Dr. Evans says because the knife is completely intact it will help in determining its age.

“It's got a very distinctive angle to the blade and I think that that might be useful,” she says. “If we can date it or if we can at least tell if it is a French knife or English knife,” says Dr. Evans, “That will better help us understand the sequence of sellers in this house.”

The age of the knife is currently unknown, but it’s believed to be of French or British origin.

Fort Michilimackinac is a reconstructed 18th-century fort and fur-trading village in Mackinaw City.

More than a million artifacts have been pulled from Colonial Michilimackinac over the last 60 years.

Visitors can watch archaeology in progress there every day from mid-June to late August.