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Game Pieces – Second Fort Crawford

Game pieces Though historic military forts might convey an air of discipline and seriousness, artifacts related to leisure activities, such as games, offer insight into other aspects of the lives of military personnel and their families. This domino (left) and game piece possibly from a board game (right), were found in the Enlisted Men’s Quarters during MVAC’s 1999 excavations of Second Fort Crawford (1829–1856) in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. Both artifacts were made of bone. Curiously, the domino has a small metal rod driven through it, surrounded by green discoloration. The reason is unknown. The domino and game piece might have come from games played by soldiers, or perhaps by children of officers whose families lived at the fort.