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Site Name: Belle Isle

WSUMA Accession Nos.: 330, 331, 495, 496, 558, 559, 604, 1517, 1628

Site No.:

  • Belle Isle I – MHD 20 WN 275
  • Belle Isle II – MHD 20 WN 276
  • Belle Isle III – MHD 20 WN 283
  • Belle Isle IV – MHD 20 WN 282
  • Belle Isle V – MHD 20 WN 309
  • Belle Isle VI – MHD 20 WN 318
  • WN-H-20, WN-H-21, WN-H-28, WN-H-2

Excavated By: George L. Miller, Arnold Pilling

Excavation Year(s):

  • I & II – April 10, 1965 ; III – Nov. 1965; IV – Nov. 30, 1965 ; V – 1961; VI – Nov. 25, 1966

Site Description:

Belle Isle is located in the Detroit River opposite the eastern shoreline of Detroit . Various excavations on the island have produced both prehistoric and historic Native American artifacts as well as Euroamerican material. There were six excavations at Belle Isle, and most of the excavations and collections were overseen by Arnold Pilling.

Artifacts:

  • Ceramics: sherds dating around 1900-1915 including scalloped edge, blues edge, wheat pattern, blue flow, circular edge, brown splotched, beeswax glazed redware, gray-blue, moss bordered print, and black print. There are also some ceramic sherds dating back to around the 1830's.
     
  • Glass: colorless, aqua, red, blue, brown, and green bottle sherds.
     
  • Faunal Remains: large mammal, and fish
     
  • Metal: stove parts, and misc. fragments
     
  • Bricks

Cat. Nos.:

1W103772 - 1W103724; 1W149135 - 1W150363; 1W399767 - 1W399854; 1W183369 - 1W183371; 1W223320 - 1W223387; 1W223388 - 1W223448; 1W216591 - 1W216650; 1W223201 - 1W223249; 1W145911 - 1W145923; 1W397232 - 1W397288; 1W399787; 1W242294 - 1W242991; 1W114509 - 1W114539; 1W48020 - 1W48086; 1W33551-1W33704; 1W48088 - 1W48096; 11W695; 11W444; 11W445; 11W446; 11W493

References:

  • Pilling, Arnold R. (1980) “ Report on Belle Isle I .” Unpublished manuscript on file at WSU Museum of Anthropology. [#11W444]
  • Pilling, Arnold R. (1980) “Report on Belle Isle II .” Unpublished manuscript on file at WSU Museum of Anthropology. [#11W445]
  • Pilling, Arnold R. (1980) “Report on Belle Isle III .” Unpublished manuscript on file at WSU Museum of Anthropology. [#11W446]
  • Pilling, Arnold R. (1981) Correspondance with the U.S. Coast Guard and Report on the Specifications for Archaeological Survey at U.S. Coast Guard Stateion Belle Isle Detroit, MI. Unpublished manuscript on file at WSU Museum of Anthropology. [#11W493]
  • Includes blueprint plans for new paving and construction at Belle Isle Station.

Misc.:

  • Belle Isle was owned by the Macomb family until 1878.
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