Anthropology Students Participate in Archaeological Test Excavations

Stockton House 1
In April of 2014, Flint resident David Henry made an amazing discovery while using a metal detector on some property not far from the UM-Flint campus. He brought his find to the Archaeology & Biological Anthropology Laboratory at the UM-Flint for consultation. He met with Dr. Beverly Smith, Associate Professor and Honors Advisor of Anthropology, and she “determined the artifact to be a likely bracelet (based on size) and likely of trade silver probably dating to the 18th century. The artifact [had] designs reminiscent of traditional Algonquin origins.”

On Friday, September 26th, Smith returned to the site of the find with over 15 of her UM-Flint students, recruited from two of her courses: Introduction to Archaeology and Historical Archaeology. Their plan was to map and make limited excavations to assess the location of Henry’s discovery. The excavations will help to determine whether the artifact was original to the place or whether it was brought from elsewhere. Discoveries on the property could have an impact on future use of the land and would help create “understanding of the potential for properties to contain deposits important for reconstructing the precontact and historic period of the city/region.”

The students who participated were Stephanie Grant, Monica Wiggins, Thomas Steele, Rhonda Banks, Daniel Conner, Tyler Legato, Sarah Dyszlewski, Kaitlyn Maitland, Amber Judd, Krystal Starr Perry, Katye Reed, Kami Misch, Guillermo Barillas, Jonathon Henneberry, Heather Inman, Emily Brender, and Mark Miller.

The students’ findings will be reported to several groups, including the Stockton House Museum, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, the Genesee County Land Bank, and the State Archaeologist office.

To avoid destroying other possible archaeological remains, the Stockton House Museum has requested Smith and her students return in the spring to test some areas on their front lawn before a cannon is installed.

For more information on the Anthropology Department, please visit their website or contact Dr. Smith at

IMG_2046Stockton House 4IMG_2031