|3 ton copper nugget, Lake Superior|
Teresa Drusin sent me a message about the copper mines in the Lake Superior area on February 6. It included the information:
To which I replied:
On Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 7:16 PM, Dale Drinnon wrote:
But there WERE copper artifacts all over the area and dating MUCH further back than the quoted C14 dates on these coppermines. Furthermore the page you listed cites some nonstandard dates for some other things otherwise.The Old Copper Culture begins sometime before 4000 BC and hence is on a par with Megalithic Europe and most parts of the Near East, and they were making tools of much the same design as Bronze Age Europe at the same time-” Archaeologists do know that widespread trading must have taken place because items such as marine shells from the southern Gulf Coast are found at Archaic sites.” at the last one.Best Wishes, Dale D.
To which Teresa replied: “hhhhmmmm…. the plot thickens. so why aren’t we reading more bout this sort of things. Well we are, but why isn’t this making more mainstream news I wonder?”
And then I came back with: “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, ya know.”
An obituary for Fred Rydholm that appeared in April of 2009 happened to mention some of the basic circumstances regarding the Lake Superior copper and it is worth quoting here:
Fred proposed to build the museum over huge piece of [glacially-deposited] native float copper which was discovered about 10 years ago. The huge copper nugget weighs an estimated 40 to 70 tons. No one knows how much of the nugget’s copper is underground, so there is no way to properly verify its weight. The AAPS (the word “American” has been dropped since the society’s founding) made a down payment on the nugget and several acres of land a couple of years ago, but still owes about $340,000. The aaaps.org Web site also tells how to make donations to benefit the museum project. After the museum is built, and as word gets out to schools about the copper country and the ancient copper trade, Fred’s influence on the teaching of history will be felt around the world.
Now I should mention that the first time that it was suggested that the European Bronze Age was relying heavily on UP Michigan copper was in 1881. That was by Ignatius Donnelly in Atlantis: the Antediluvian World. Since then the official stance has been to steadfastly ignore any evidence that such a thing was even possible.
Above at left, “Foreign” skull discovered at Lake Superior Copper Mines and at right deformed skull of a child from Spain. Below, comparison of the “Foreign” skull to the Mesolithic Capsian Combe-Capelle skull from Southern France, typical from Spain and North Africa also during the period. The Combe-capelle skeleton is often listed as an Aurignacian type but this is incorrect, recent research has shown that it was an intrusive burial into the older layers and should be dated closer to 8000 BC: the type continued on into later typical “Mediterranean” populations.
The Old Copper Culture lasted from about 4000 BC (or even before)
until about 1000 BC: the Mound (Adena and Hopewell) copper items
seem to be a direct continuation of the same tradition.
It is important that several of the types of tools made by the OCC
are of the types being made in Europe at the same time, and that it
would be EXTREMELY unusual if the people in the New World
independantly invented such a thing as socketed hafting of spears and
celts. But beyond that there is the whole array of European style
tools including little cosmetic spoons and trepanning tools, and some
of the “Spearheads” look a lot like bronze knives and swords being
used in Europe. And just when did shaving become important enough
among Native Americans that you frequently find RAZORS, even exactly
the same type as popular in Europe at the same time?
One of the internet sites I took the photos from was extremely
critical of diffusionist theories about the OCC mining works. I
include a quote below:
“There have been incredible, but totally unsubstantiated, claims made
as to the time and manpower required to create the ancient copper
pits and as to the amount of copper that was actually mined.
Beginning with Drier and Du Temple in 1961 and Mertz in 1967,
through Sodders in 1990, figures of .5 to 1.5 billion pounds (yes
billion, not million) have been put forth. Sodders postulates “it is
believed that as many as 10,000 miners, labored some 1,000 years, in
an estimated 10,000 Copper Range pits”. Drier and Du Temple get to
their figures with the following assumptions in their 1961
work “Prehistoric Copper Mining in the Lake Superior Region”: “If one
assumes that an average pit is 20 feet in diameter and 30 feet deep,
then it appears that something like 1000 to 1200 tons of ore were
removed per pit. If the ore averaged 5% or 100 pounds per ton then
approximately 100,000 pounds of copper were removed per pit. If 5000
pits existed, as earlier estimates indicated (and all are copper
bearing), then 100,000 pounds per pit in 5000 pits means that
500,000,000 pounds of copper were mined in prehistoric times- all of
it without anything more than fire, stone hammers and manpower. If
the ore averaged 15% copper and if more than 5000 pits existed, then
over 1.5 billion pounds of copper were mined”.
One has to ask the obvious question, where did all this mined copper
go? Some scholars would have us believe that the vast majority was
taken by Phoenicians, Berbers, Minoans, Bronze Age Europeans or
Vikings in a huge international copper trade centering in the Lake
Superior Region. Where is the archeological evidence to support these
theories? The truth is that it does not exist. There are no
identified community or camp sites, no burial remains, and no
identifiable artifacts to support any of these theories. All of this
evidence does exist to demonstrate that the indigenous peoples were,
in fact, the ones who mined the copper and fashioned it into
implements, weapons and ornaments”
I need not point out that no evidence exists for the presumptive
Native American encampments either. And the holes ARE there while the
copper IS gone now. I think it goes without saying that Lake Superior copper
was used in the European Bronze age, there have been chemical analysis results
that support that idea as quoted by the AAAPF and other organizations. It is the
reason that Barry Fell underttok the writing of Bronze Age America.
And furthermore the forms of the copper objects that were manufactured by the Old Copper Culture match their old-world analogues (also specified by Barry Fell). Any of them could be taken to be artifacts of an introduced culture. What eventually happened in America was that they eventually ceased to have a utilitarian use and value and were used solely as elite trade items. Or for their monetary value and the status they conferred, to put it another way.
OCC tools and ornaments are scattered over a wide area besides around the Great Lakes in the USA: I know of several finds in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and even as far away as Maryland. These are assumed to have been trade goods. They are also found in Canada as far as Lake Winnepeg.
Locations of some Old Copper Culture artifact collections:
Wisconsin State Historical Society in Madison
Chicago Field Museum
Neville Public Museum in Green Bay
American Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.
Pennsylvania University Museum in Philadelphia
|Boats such as were used by the builders of stonehenge to move large blocks of stone over hundreds of miles.
Presumably for very heavy loads, two or more of these were lashed together side by side like outriggers.
Those Isle Royale copper miners had to go out in notoriously rough waters, repeatedly, and with mega-tons of that copper they had been digging out. They WEREN’T doing that in little birch-bark canoes. Viking longboats or their earlier forerunners would be more like it. They HAD to have been pretty rough sea-faring types to get through with the cargo. Which we know they did, because the copper they shipped out turns up everywhere.
Incidentally, not only is Lake Superior the largest of the Great Lakes, it contains enough water to make up all of the other Great Lakes, plus enough left over for several more Lake Eires.
|Late Bronze Age Merchant Ship|