III. Raw Material and Mining
Allert, James D., George Rapp, Jr., Vanda Vitali and Eiler Henrickson
- Trace-Element Variability of Native Copper within a Large Ore Body: The Kingstone Mine, Michigan, USA. Geoarchaeology: An International Journal 6(4):337-354.
Barden, John A.
- Ancient mining on the shores of Lake Superior. Atlantic Monthly 15:308-315.
- Brule River Copper Sources. The Wisconsin Archeologist 9:122-123.
- Barden gives a brief description of a native copper source along the Brule River in northwest Wisconsin, exploited by both Native and Euro-Americans. He suggests that native silver may also have been procured here.
Bastian, Tyler J.
- Aboriginal Copper Mines at McCargoe's Cove, Isle Royale, in Yearbook of the Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee, 1924, 4:25-31. (Reproduced in Griffin 1961b:27-29.)
- Trace Element and Metallographic Studies of Prehistoric Copper Artifacts in North America: A Review. In Lake Superior Copper and the Indians: Miscellaneous Studies of Great Lakes Prehistory, Anthropological Papers, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, no. 17, edited by James B. Griffin, pages 151-176.
- This source includes a review of trace element analysis and metallurgical studies of North American native copper. Bastian concludes that trace element analyses up to that time were crude, contradictory and of no use in determining copper sources. These analyses have been superseded by recent work (e.g. Rapp et al. 1980; 1984; 1989) utilizing more powerful modern assay techniques and computer driven statistical correlation techniques.
Berg, Ernest L.
- Prehistoric copper mining in Isle Royale National Park, Michigan. M.S. Thesis, University of Michigan.
- Stone and Metallic Materials Used by Ancient Indians of Minnesota in the Making of Artifacts. The Minnesota Archaeologist 11(1):4-17.
- Berg examines various raw materials utilized locally in prehistory for the manufacture of artifacts. He also gives a few notes on the sources and properties of native copper.
- The examination of some copper ores. Man 57:72-76.
- Some fresh aspects on the prehistoric metallurgy of copper. Antiquaries Journal 22:22-40.
- Native Copper in Relation to Prehistory. Man 51:90-93.
Drier, Roy W.
- A Note Upon Native Copper: Its Occurrence and Properties. The Prehistoric Society 28(3):58-67.
- The Michigan College of Mining and Technology Isle Royale Excavations, 1953-1954. In Lake Superior Copper and the Indians: Miscellaneous Studies of Great Lakes Prehistory, Anthropological Papers, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, no. 17, edited by James B. Griffin, pages 1-7.
- Drier gives a brief overview of 1953-54 fieldwork at the Isle Royale copper quarries. He notes two C-14 dates of 3800 + 500 B.P. and 3310 + 200 B.P. on wood samples taken from copper pits.
- Archaeology and Some Metallurgical Investigative Techniques. In Lake Superior Copper and the Indians: Miscellaneous Studies of Great Lakes Prehistory, Anthropological Papers, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, no. 17, edited by James B. Griffin, pages 134-147.
- Drier evaluated previous metallurgical studies of Old Copper artifacts, and then presents the results of his own metallurgical examination. He maintains that there is no evidence for casting of Old Copper artifacts, but that they were formed by cold forging with occasional annealing.
Drier, Roy and O.J. Du Temple [editors]
- Michigan's Most Ancient Industry is America's Prehistoric Copper Mining. In Prehistoric Copper Mining in the Lake Superior Region, edited by R.W. Drier and O.J. Du Temple, pages 19-27. Published privately by the editors, Calumet, Michigan.
- Prehistoric Copper Mining in the Lake Superior Region: A Collection of Reference Articles. Privately published by the editors, Calumet, Michigan.
Ferguson, William P.F.
- An Archaeological Reconnaissance of Isle Royale. Michigan History 41(1):1-34. Lansing. (A short excerpt from pages 29-30 of this source is contained in Griffin 1961b.)
- This work, written 25 years before its publication, presents the results of a 1929 archaeological investigation on Isle Royale. It contains descriptions and a map of numerous copper quarry complexes. There is considerable review of previous investigations, with some new information appended. Reported discoveries include ceramic sites.
Foster, J.W. and J.D. Whitney
- Michigan's Most Ancient Industry: The Prehistoric Mines and Miners of Isle Royale. Michigan History Magazine 7(25):155-62. Lansing.
- Ferguson announces discovery on Isle Royal of what he believes to be a habitation or "city" covering several acres and consisting of walled and fortified pits (i.e., pit houses). Field conditions prevented thorough investigation of these features.
Fox, George R.
- Report on the Geology and Topography of a Portion of the Lake Superior Land District in the State of Michigan. Copper Lands. House Executive Documents, no. 69, Pt. 1, Washington D.C. (An excerpt from pages 159-162 is reproduced in Griffin 1961c:47-50.)
- The Ancient Copper Workings on Isle Royale. The Wisconsin Archeologist 10(2):73-100, plus appended plates 3-10, pages unnumbered.
Griffin, James B.
- Ancient works at Isle Royale, Michigan. Appleton's Journal of Literature, Science, and Art 10:173-75. (An excerpt from pages 173-174 is reproduced in Griffin 1961b:16-19.)
- Gillman described what he has been able to see, discover or deduce about prehistoric copper mining on Isle Royale. Based on the age of trees growing on spoil heaps, he estimates that the mines are not less that 700-800 years old. He expresses the opinion that they were the work of "the mound builders," who although "not of any great intellectual development" were several pegs above "the Indian in the scale of humanity." The account contains interesting information, but Gillman is given to superlatives and some of his reporting seems suspect.
- Contributions on Isle Royal Prehistory. In Lake Superior Copper and the Indians: Miscellaneous Studies of Great Lakes Prehistory, Anthropological Papers, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, no. 17, edited by James B. Griffin, pages 8-31.
- Griffin describes the artifacts, paleoenvironment and biota of Isle Royale, and reviews the archaeology done there from 1892-1930. In examining the early discoveries he includes sizable excerpts from the following sources, many of them early and potential
ly hard-to-get: III. Dustin 1957, Gillman 1873, Holmes 1901, West 1929; V. Barrett 1925, Davis 1875, Dawson 1857, Foster and Whitney 1850, Fox 1911, Gillman 1876, Logan 1863, Packard 1893, Whittlesey 1863, Wilson 1856, Winchell 1881.
- Early American Mining in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the First Recognition of Prehistoric Mining Activities. In Lake Superior Copper and the Indians: Miscellaneous Studies of Great Lakes Prehistory, Anthropological Papers Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, no. 17, edited by James B. Griffin, pages 47-76.
- Griffin assembles the best available data on prehistoric copper quarrying on the Upper Michigan Peninsula, most traces of which were destroyed by early historic mining. Some artifacts of Old Copper type are known from these quarries.
- Interpretation of Technology and Cultural Level from the Copper Pits and Included Materials. In Lake Superior Copper and the Indians: Miscellaneous Studies of Great Lakes Prehistory, Anthropological Papers, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, no. 17, edited by James B. Griffin, pages 127-29.
- This is a brief review of archaeological knowledge on prehistoric copper quarrying along Lake Superior.
Griffin, James B. and George I. Quimby
- Comments on Current and Recent "Folklore" and Misconceptions About the Lake Superior Prehistoric Copper and the Area in General. In Lake Superior Copper and the Indians: Miscellaneous Studies of Great Lakes Prehistory, Anthropological Papers, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, no.17, edited by James B. Griffin, pages 130-33.
- Griffin examines some of the "myths" concerning copper use by the Indians, such as lost secrets of tempering copper, or copper use originating with the Norsemen.
- Prehistoric Copper Pits on the Eastern Side of Lake Superior. In Lake Superior Copper and the Indians: Miscellaneous Studies of Great Lakes Prehistory, Anthropological Papers, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, no. 17, edited by James B. Griffin, pages 77-82.
- This section describes a few small native copper sources on the east shore of Lake Superior, and the prehistoric pits associated with them.
- Aboriginal Copper Mines of Isle Royale, Lake Superior. American Anthropologist (ns) 3:684-696. (Excerpts from pages 688-89 and 690-91 are reproduced in Griffin 196lb:25-27.)
- Holmes describes aboriginal copper quarries on Isle Royale as they appeared during his visit in 1892. The area he examined had been subject to modern copper mining, which provided exposure of the prehistoric remains. Prehistoric pits, commonly 3 to 4 feet deep, covered nearly the entire surface of the copper bearing area. Holmes excavated a pit measuring 10 feet deep and 20 feet in diameter. He notes the presence, surface and excavation, of thousands of expended ungrooved mauls used in pulverizing the rock mass around chunks of copper. He states that some copper masses still embedded in the ground show clear traces of the quarrying techniques by which their removal was attempted.
Jackson, Charles T.
- Ancient Copper Mines of Lake Superior. Wisconsin Historical Collections 8:140-151.
- Report on the Geological and Mineralogical Survey of the Mineral Lands of the United States in the State of Michigan. In House Executive Documents, vol. 3, no. 5, part 3 (31 Congress, 1 session), Washington, D.C.
- This is reported (Reeder 1906) to be the first recorded observation of prehistoric copper workings in the Lake Superior copper district.
- The mining and fabrication of Copper by the Aborigines of the Lake Superior Region. The Minnesota Archaeologist 6(2):27-34.
- Landon briefly reviews prehistoric copper mining, float copper distribution, and fabrication methods.
Logan, William E.
- Copper Mines Worked by the Mound Builders. The Minnesota Archaeologist 2(11):1-3. (Reprinted from American Antiquarian, September 1889.)
- Lewis describes the Isle Royal copper works for a popular audience. He believes that they were an indigenous development, probably produced by the "Mound-builders" of southern Wisconsin.
- Geology of Canada. Geological Survey of Canada; Report of Progress from its Commencement to 1863. Dawson Brothers, Montreal. (A lengthy excerpt from pages 700-707 is reproduced in Griffin and Quimby 1961:79-81.)
- A Note to a Metallographic Study of Certain Pre-Columbian American Implements [by L. Franks?] American Antiquity 17(1):59-60.
Packard, Robert L.
- Xeroradiography of Copper Artifacts: A Non-Destructive Way of
- Determining Method of Manufacture. The Wisconsin Archeologist 65(4):373-381. (Also printed in North American Archaeology 8(1):13-22.)
- Xeroradiography is a high contrast X-ray technique, akin to photocopying ("xeroxing"), which is useful in examining the internal structure of metal objects. This relatively quick and inexpensive technique detects internal structural features which evidence manufacturing technique. Although Neiburger recommends using this process on Old Copper artifacts in order to determine if they were ever cast, he does not deal with the subject except for a single photo caption. The photo purports to show an Old Copper artifact with structural evidence of having been cast.
- Pre-Columbian copper mining in North America. Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution for 1892, pages 175-98. Washington, D.C. (especially p. 184) (Excerpts from pages 182-83 of this source are reprinted in Griffin 1961c:74-75.)
Rapp, George Jr., James Allert and Eiler Henrickson
- Metallurgical Analysis of Archaeological Materials II. Viking Fund Publication in Anthropology, no. 28
Rapp, George Jr., Eiler Henrickson and James Allert
- Trace Element Discrimination of Discrete Sources of Native Copper. Archaeological Chemistry III, John Lambert, ed., 273-293. Advances in Chemistry Series, no. 205. New York, American Chemical Society.
- This paper repeats some of the subjects covered in Rapp et al. (1980) but also provides complementary information and more recent developments. They discuss in detail the statistical rationale and methodology applied in the analysis. The report includes provenience analysis on nine copper artifacts from the Houska Point site in Minnesota (cf. Steinbring 1974:70-72; 1975). The appendix contains trace element analysis data for ten raw material sources in the United States.
Rapp, George (Rip), Jr., James D. Allert and Gordon Peters
- Native Copper Sources of Artifact Copper in Pre-Columbian North America. Geological Society of America Journal, in press.
- This paper includes a review of sources of copper in North America, including tables of known sources and relevant reference data. The authors encourage additional native copper studies, with the goal of understanding trade networks. The bibliography provides extensive references concerning copper as a raw material, as well as references pertaining to the Old Copper complex.
Rapp, George Jr., Eiler Henrickson, Michael Miller and Stanley Aschenbrenner
- The Origins of Copper in Three Northern Minnesota Sites: Pauly, River Point, and Big Rice. In The Woodland Tradition in the Western Great Lakes: Papers Presented to Elden Johnson, pages 233-238, edited by Guy E. Gibbon. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
- The paper discusses the raw material origins of 22 copper artifacts from three Woodland period sites in the Superior National Forest of northern Minnesota, using the methods discussed in Rapp et al. 1980. Although the results are not directly applicable to the Old Copper complex, they do provide an interesting site of comparitive data from another time period.
Reeder, John T.
- Trace-Element Fingerprinting as a Guide to the Geographic Sources of Native Copper. Journal of Metals 32:35-45.
- The authors discuss a method for determining the source of the native copper by using neutron activation analysis to asses trace element (less than .01%) content. The trace element content of copper artifacts and raw material samples (of known provenience) are compared by means of a rigorous statistical procedure. The theoretical basis, limits and potential errors of this method are discussed. An ongoing effort is being made to expand the database of trace element "fingerprints" for known copper sources, both in the U.S. and worldwide. The report includes results of the testing of 13 artifacts from sites in Minnesota.
Root, William C.
- Evidences of prehistoric man on Lake Superior. Historical Collections: Collections and Researches Made by the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society, Vol. 30, pages 110-118. Lansing, Michigan.
- Reeder reports his observations on prehistoric copper workings in Keweenaw and Ontonagon Counties, Michigan. He gathers many ethnographic accounts of use and veneration of copper by early-contact period Indians. He quotes earlier sources (Gillman 1873; Foster & Whitney 1850; et al.), and makes a number of deductions about the nature of the copper workings and workers based on the information available to him.
- Metallurgical Examination of Five Copper Artifacts from Southern Michigan. In Lake Superior Copper and the Indians: Miscellaneous Studies of Great Lakes Prehistory, Anthropological Papers, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, no. 17, edited by James B. Griffin, pages 148-149.
- Root undertakes a metallurgical analysis of copper artifacts from southern Michigan. He concludes that there is no evidence for casting, but rather that the pieces were forged and annealed.
Schroeder, D.L. and K.C. Ruhl
- Notes on the Dispersion of Drift Copper. Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters Transactions 6:42-50.
- Salisbury summarizes all information available to him concerning finds of native copper in the central part of the continent. The nature of the data allows little beyond determining general geographic extent and a few tentative statements on relative abundance. He notes that drift copper seems to be most common in Wisconsin.
- Metallurgical Characteristics of North American Prehistoric Copper Work. American Antiquity 33(2) :162-69.
Skillings' Mine Review
- Metallographic Study of Copper Artifacts. American Antiquity 2(2):139-40.
Soulen, Harvey H.
- Forgotten Coppersmiths. The Minnesota Archaeologist 2(3) :9 ff. (Reprinted from Skillings' Mine Review, Butte, Montana.)
- This is a journalistic account of the copper metallurgical studies then being undertaken by Wilson and Sayre (1935).
- Prehistoric Copper Mining. The Minnesota Archaeologist (22):1-5.
- Soulen presents a summary of West's (1929) report on prehistoric copper mining on Isle Royale.
- The Copper Handbook, 1910-1911. M.A. Donahue and Co., Chicago. (Vol. 10).
Thomson, Jas. E.
- 1940Notes on Glacial Float Copper. The Minnesota Archaeologist 6(2):52, 56.
West, George A.
- Geology of the Mamainse copper area. In Sixty-Second Annual Report, the Ontario Dept. of Mines, 62(4):1-25. Toronto.
- Copper: Its Mining and Use bY the Aborigines of the Lake Superior Region. Milwaukee Public Museum, Bulletin 10, (1):1-122. (Reprinted edition issued in 1970 by Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, with an introduction by Robert E. Ritzenthaler.)
- West described the 1929 archaeological exploration of the prehistoric copper quarries on Isle Royal in Lake Superior. It was found that the prehistoric miners followed copper bearing veins into the ground, removing the rock by first heating and quenching to crack it, then battering it with stone mauls. The resulting pits may be as deep as 20-30 feet. They are presently filled with mining spoil and organic debris. Some contained well preserved wooden artifacts including ladders, bowls, skids and paddles (or shovels). Little could be determined about the identity of the peoples who created the mines.
- The Ancient Miners of Lake Superior. Annals of Science 1:15-18, 27-30. Cleveland Academy of Natural Sciences, Cleveland.
Willoughby, Charles C.
- Ancient Mining on the Shores of Lake Superior. Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, Vol. 13, Contribution no. 155, pages 1-29. Washington, D.C. (Lengthy excerpts from pages 6-26, including illustrations, are reproduced in Griffin 1961c:51-71.)
- Primitive Metal Working. American Anthropologist 5:55.
- Willoughby describes replicating a Hopewellian copper ornament using only primitive technology. Perhaps the most pertinent observation is that the worked copper required frequent annealing to counter the tendency of the metal mass to crack along the edges.
- Michipicoten Island. Canadian Mining Journal, September 15, 1907.
Wilson, Curtis L., and M. Sayre
- The Ancient Miners of Lake Superior. The Canadian Journal (ns) 1(3):227-37. Toronto. (Excerpts from pages 227-28 and 233-34 of this source are reproduced in Griffin 1961c:71-73.)
- A Brief Metallographic Study of Primitive Copper Work. American Antiquity 1(2):109-112.
- The authors explain the principles and application of some basic metallurgical techniques to prehistoric North American copper artifacts. They examine 6 artifacts, which are cross sectioned, polished, etched and microscopically examined. The observed crystal structure (or lack of crystal structure in raw native copper and cold worked implements) allows inferences as to whether the metal was annealed, whether it was worked hot or cold, and the approximate temperatures at which it was worked. Examination of the artifacts reveals varying techniques and suggests the use of temperatures up to 800¡ C. (Cf. Drier 1961, who maintains that the concepts underlying this research are unsound.)
- Ancient Copper Mines of Isle Royale. Popular Science Monthly 19:601-20. New York. (Long excerpts from pages 601-06 and 619-20 are reproduced in Griffin 1961b:21-24.)