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Site Name: West Ridge/Gibralter

WSUMA Accession Nos.: 971, 1357, 1507

Site No.: 20WN10

Excavated By: Gordon Grosscup

Excavation Year(s): 1970-1972 and 1978.

Site Description:

The site has yielded prehistoric (AD 600) and historic Wyandot-Huron material. The site was excavated by a field class under the supervision of Gordon Grosscup in 1971. However, the site had material collected from it by Martinez and Demeter between 1970 and 1972. The site had been mostly destroyed by construction and sand removal. Martinez and Demeter salvaged two burials. One burial was found with beads made from Job's Tears. The other was clothed in a garment made of woven cloth which partially preserved by mineral salts and found in association with 12 silver brooches. These burials are considered to be late prehistoric. The beads are presumed to be rosary beads, as they were found in the right hand resting on a layer of elm bark. These beads, made from Job's Tears, were most likely a trade item because the plant does not thrive in the Great Lakes Region.

Artifacts:

  • 1971
    • Human Remains
    • Lithics: projectile points (n=2), stone, fire-cracked rock
    • Misc.: beads, brooches, pipe bowl, gunflint, copper beads, glass, nails and coffin wood
  • 1970 – 1972:
    • Ceramics: Prehistoric
    • Human Remains
    • Misc.: historic period Native American trade goods from several burials, and faunal remains

Cat. Nos.:

  • 1W233000-1W233998, 1W234001-1W234702, 1W234901-1W234918, 1W399427-1W399535
  • 9W863, 9W845, 9W886-9W887
  • 10W443

References:

  • "Job's Tear's, Coix lachryma-jobi L., Beads from the West Ridge/Gibralter Site, Southeastern Michigan.” UMMA Ethnobotanical Report Number 473. [WSUMA #?]
  • Collins, Newell E. (Sept. 1943) “Perforated Indian Skulls”. Wisconsin Archaeologist. September 1943 Vol. 24:3 pp. 49-53. [WSUMA #11W1353]
  • Cushman, Gwynne. “The Little Old Lady of Gibralter.” Unpublished manuscript on file at WSU Museum of Anthropology. [# 11W751]
    • Short, 1 page report on the skeletal remains found in the Gibralter mound.
  • Cushman, Gwynne. Observations of the Gibralter Mound. Unpublished manuscript on file at WSU Museum of Anthropology. [# 1W752]
    • Short statement on observations of mound.
  • Brastner, Charles, (?), “Cultural Resources Inventory Survey: Wetland Replacement Site, Woodland Meadow – Van Buren Expansion, Gibralter , Michigan.” A Cultural Resource Mangament Study Prepared for Woodland Meadows RDF, Waste Management of Michigan, Inc. for Submission to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office. [WSUMA # 11W2466]
  • Demeter, Stephen, (April 1993), “Phase I Archaeological Survey and Literature Search of the Proposed Woodland Meadows Van Buren Expansion Wetland Mitigation Site, Parcel III D. Gibralter, Wayne County , Michigan .” Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group, Inc. Jackson , MI . [WSUMA# 11W2462 and 11W2577]
  • Fieldnotes from the West Ridge/Gibralter field season in 1971. These include student notes and drawings from the excavation made for the archaeology field methods class. Unpublished manuscript on file at WSU Museum of Anthropology. [# 11W743]
  • Photos of Gibralter mound. Unpublished manuscript on file at WSU Museum of Anthropology. [# 10W1106-10W1122] 
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