• Bitmoji representation of Professors Bober and Hartley

    2021 Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Summer Camps Are Virtual This Year

  • A black and white photo include five men holding a sign that says "support the fort"

    Learning to Dig It. Personal commentary and video from Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Field School.

    View Video
  • woman standing in a snowy scene with snow shoes and warm clothes
  • Floodplain site

    Main floodplain site where the students dig.

  • A gun side plate in the palm of a hand

    A fragment of a decorative side plate from a French trading gun


2021 T-shirt Design Competition

We invite you to participate in our T-shirt design competition. Designs submitted to the Project should reflect the 2021 theme, “People of the Post.” For more information, please see the competition flyer or contact the Project at fsjarchaeology@gmail.com.

2021 Archaeological Field School

The WMU archaeological field school begins on July 1. Staff and students will provide regular updates on the Project’s blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages.

Archaeology Virtual Summer CAMP Program

Sponsored by Western Michigan University and the City of Niles, the Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Summer Camp Program provides an opportunity for the public to investigate and interpret the history and archaeology of Fort St. Joseph, an 18th century mission, garrison, and trading post. This year the program will be held in a virtual format where campers will learn about archaeology, the history of fort, the fur trade and famous archaeological sites through online discussions and exercises.

Each morning at 9 am, campers will log on to Webex (WMU’s online meeting portal) to meet with the Project’s Public Education Instructor, Tim Bober, and participate in a live, interactive discussion of the daily topic. Tim will begin the week by teaching participants about the field of archaeology, survey and excavation methods, and what we can learn from studying the past. To do this, Tim will incorporate engaging activities and showcase a few well-known archaeological sites. As the week progresses, campers will learn about New France, the fur trade, and the history of the fort. To help participants gain a better understanding of the site and build upon the information taught throughout the week, Tim will facilitate the virtual excavation of a unit at Fort St. Joseph. Campers will discover the thrill of excavation as they explore the items recovered from a unit and how these findings fit into the interpretation of the site. Supplemental materials will also be provided to encourage campers to continue exploring what archaeology has to offer.


July 19 - 23: Middle School (Grades 6-8)

July 26 - 30: High School (Grades 9-12)

August 2 - 6: Lifelong Learners and Educators

Registration information can be found at www.nileshistorycenter.org. For questions or more information about the camps, please contact the Project’s Public Education Instructor, Tim Bober, at timothy.bober@wmich.edu.


The Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project will host its 10th annual Summer Archaeology Lecture Series in conjunction with Western Michigan University’s 45th annual archaeological field school on four consecutive Wednesdays (July 7-28) at 7 pm in collaboration with the Niles District Library. The focus of this year’s virtual series is “People of the Post.”

Archaeological and historical investigations are typically conducted to answer the questions: what happened in the past and who did it. Ultimately, we want to know about the people who came before us: their daily activities, motivations, successes, and failures. Studies have revealed much about the people who frequented and occupied Fort St. Joseph. Each of the presenters uses primary sources to detail the lives of the people of the post and their relevance to the present.

View or print a flyer of the below detailed information.

July 7
Michael S. Nassaney, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Western Michigan University, Archaeology and the People of the Post

July 14
José António Brandão, Professor of History, Western Michigan University, Jesuits and Their Work at Fort St. Joseph

July 21Bob Myers, Director of Education, Historical Society of Michigan, “He will never do in that command”: Ensign Francis Schlosser of the 60th Regiment

July 28
Loraine DiCerbo, Editor, Habitant Heritage, French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan, A Retrospective of the Chevalier Family, Their Roles and Relationships at Fort St. Joseph: 1730-1780

For more information, and for links to join each program, please check out the Facebook events, or contact Niles District Library Program Manager, Andrea Burns, at 269-683-8545 ext. 116 or andrea.burns@nileslibrary.net.

2021 Archaeology OPEN HOUSE

Come visit and explore the nationally recognized archaeological site of Fort St. Joseph during the Project’s annual Archaeology Open House! This year our event will be held on August 7-8 from 10 am to 4 pm, focusing on the theme “People of the Post.”

During the Open House, we will highlight the men, women, and children who resided at Fort St. Joseph and showcase artifacts from the collection that provide details about their daily lives. The public will be able to explore the site and our excavations, view recently discovered artifacts, learn about the people of the past through a living history village, enjoy a replica birchbark canoe ride, and much more! We look forward to seeing everyone there!

2021 Application for the Archaeological Field School

Applications for the 2021 field school should be submitted by Friday, March 19, 2021.

2021 Field positions in archaeology

Applications for the 2021 field positions should be submitted by March 19, 2021 but application review will be ongoing until all positions are filled.

The Fort St. Joseph newsletter

The monthly newsletter includes recent news about archaeology work and research, upcoming events, opportunities to get involved, and alumni of Fort St. Joseph. To subscribe, please fill out this brief form.

Videos of Public Archaeology at Fort St. Joseph