Copper tools from Northern Wisconsin, 4000-1,200 B.C.

Copper tools from Northern Wisconsin, 4,000-1,200 B.C.


Copper has been mined along Lake Superior's south shore for thousands of years. This photograph shows seven artifacts from the Society's Museum collections that were produced during the era scholars call the Old Copper Culture. Dating from the early to mid-archaic period, they show that extracting copper and fashioning it into utensils predated modern mining engineers by several millenia. Old Copper Culture implements from Wisconsin and Michigan were part of a trade network that stretched from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf Coast. The large tool in the center of the photograph is a spear point. Proceeding clockwise are an awl or punch, two projectile points, two knives and and an axe head. All of these artifacts would originally have possessed wooden shafts or handles that have disappeared over the intervening thousands of years.


Related Topics: Early Native Peoples
Mining, Logging, and Agriculture
First Peoples
Mining in Northern Wisconsin
Creator: anonymous
Pub Data: Unpublished photograph in the office of the state archaeologist, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison.
Citation: "Copper tools from Northern Wisconsin, 4000-1,200 B.C." Unpublished photograph in the office of the state archaeologist, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison. Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=760; Visited on: 12/18/2014
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