Skip to main content

Sainte Marie I Material Culture: Architecture & Artifacts

Archaeological work at the site revealed insights into early French-Canadian architecture although the details of any wooden superstructure were destroyed by fire. Fragments of cedar flooring survived in the excavated areas of bastions while small rectangular brick remains were also found in the area of the chimney, of the central fireplace, and of the chapel, representing the earliest brick fragments in Ontario.

Sepia photograph of a complete glass container featuring a long narrow neck connecting to a wide body, slightly narrowing again at the base

Glass vessel made in Venice between 1590 and 1600. Brought to Ste. Marie I by the Jesuits.


Tens of thousands of artifacts were also recovered by Kidd and Jury that represent an outstanding assemblage for this period. These include iron goods (bells, axes with trade marks); a complete mason’s trowel, a complete copper plate, weaponry fragments including sword portions; spectacle lens, scissors, coins, a pre-1622 silver medallion, a rosary with silver wire and bone beads arranged in a cruciform pattern; and other religious ornamentation; mainly red but some blue glass beads; glass (complete bottles), tableware, hooks, eyes, and ornaments. The Indigenous assemblage includes pottery, many pipes including an anthropomorphic effigy; and bone and antler tools including an antler ladle, stone tools and even a large segment of woven textile which is probably a bag.

Seven rusted iron objects ranging in shape and size found during excavations including one dagger.

Some of the metal objects recovered during Kidd’s excavations at Ste. Marie I.