Who mined Michigan Copper?

Archaeologists tell us the roughly 5000 open pit mines running for a hundred miles on the north shore of Upper Michigan were worked from aproximately 3000 - 1200 BC to extract anywhere from 100 - 500 thousand pounds (or some texts say tons) of essentially pure copper. Such a quantity was certainly not seen by Joliet and Marquette when they explored the Mississippi valley and discovered the aboriginal Americans who posessed copper trinkets. This is enough tonnage to support a proper Bronze Age.

We are further told by a combination of archaeologists and ancient historians that the Trojan war is dated anywhere from 1290 to 1135BC; the same time is given for the fall of the Hittite empire.

The way I put all this together is: either the Greeks or Hittites, or both, or possibly a third party "Arms Merchant" society, was sailing across the Atlantic Ocean for almost 2000 years taking copper from the south shore of Lake Superior and building an eastern Mediterranean culture on it.
The Greeks and Hittites then went to war at Troy and were so mutually devastated that they had no further need for or perhaps interest in Bronze armor and war weapons; or were too economically smashed to make such a voyage, so the fleet stoppped sailing. In a single generation of inactivity they could forget how to get here, making future travel during for example the Roman era, impossible unless lost knowledge was relearned and lost mines rediscovered.

If Mediterranean people freighted this much metal from upper Michigan to the Atlantic I see three sensible roads. They could have barged it down the St Lawrence with a portage around Niagra falls. Until the St Lawrence Seaway was dynamited in the 1950s there was also a rough stretch on the lower river which may have required a detour.
The second road is the Mississippi river.
The third possibility is to travel entirely overland with pack trains of horses.
I would guess each of these was tried.
American Indians have said they had horses before the Spaniards brought them to the Americas at the time of Columbus. And yet Zoologists tell us the American wild horses all come originally from Europe. This may be an indicator in one way or another.

Mark Twain tells us how trecherous the Mississippi river was in his day with sand bars shifting during the night and logs coming down the river from a tree being washed out of the bank upstream. If a barge was upset when full of copper ingots in either the Mississippi river or in the St Lawrence from an unsuccesful attempt at running the lower rapids, I would like to make a search for the cargo with a metal detector. In the Mississippi valley especially, it would be a monumentally big job because the river has changed course so much over the years.

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plw12752anderson's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
6 years 26 weeks

Dear Brian,
You may have this information already but just in case, here is a pdf file by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Osceola (Old Copper Culture) artifacts would be most interesting as that era falls within the time period of the Bronze age.
These artifacts were seen by locals of the area exposed from a bank of eroded soil. They notified authorities and this area was excavated for the copper tools, weapons and art objects.
Thanks for posting your blog on this topic, I have been collecting information on the Loess Hills (pronounced Luss) along the old Mississippi river Basin. There is a place not far from my home that I have really wanted to go to as they say polished jasper stones can be picked up in the creek which runs into a river that flows into the Mississippi River.
If I run across any information on ancient mined copper that might verify and aid you in this research I will post it. Also have any studies been done to verify copper objects mineral composition which could pinpoint a specific site of the source/mine? Sincerely, Pam

http://www.mvp.usace.army.mil/docs/histo...
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The Osceola cemetery was the first Old Copper site to be excavated. The site was eroding into the Mississippi River when discovered and dug in 1945. ...

http://www.tc.umn.edu/~bakk0029/Old_Copp...
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excerpt from page 371 of Atlantis, The Antediluvian World: Part V
CHAPTER III.
THE COLONIES OF THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY
They also possessed an accurate system of weights; bracelets of copper on the arms of a skeleton have been found to be of uniform size, measuring each two and nine-tenth inches, and each weighing precisely four ounces.

Here is a link from the Sacred Texts website.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/atl/ataw/ata...
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The Driftless Area
THE Mississippi River we know has only been in existence for about 12,000 years. It was formed at the end of the last ice age, but not by the movement of glaciers. Glaciers veered to the east and west of the Upper Mississippi area because of a barrier of resistant ancient rock and the deep basins of Green Bay, Lake Superior, and Lake Michigan. The area kept clear of the glaciers is called the Driftless Area or coulee and covers much of southeastern Minnesota, southwestern Wisconsin, northeastern Iowa, and the northwest corner of Illinois. You can see the contrast between terrain carved out by glaciers and the coulee when you drive west from the Twin Cities into South Dakota: from hills and bluffs along the riverbank to the low horizon on which you can see for miles. However, even though the area wasn't carved by the melting glaciers, the Mississippi River Valley was still created from their torrential runoff.

Early Inhabitants
People have inhabited the area since about 11,500 years ago at which time the melting glaciers had traveled only as far as Lake Superior. This was a cold period when woolly mammoths and other megafauna roamed. Projectile points from this "paleo" period have been found in valleys whose waters flow into the Mississippi.

Effects of Drought
About 1500 years later there was a prolonged drought which led to the end of the woolly mammoths and rise of a buffalo that was larger than today's animal. Just as the earlier groups of "paleo" indians had hunted mammoths, so the newer, but still ancient "archaeo" indians hunted the bison, as evidenced, again, by projectile points in the plains and along the Mississippi River.

Woodland Culture
About 4000 years ago a woodland culture emerged in the area, along with burial mounds, gardening, and clay pots. Trade seems to have flourished since flint knives from the Rocky Mountains and copper axes from Lake Superior were in the mounds which have been found on flat spots along the Mississippi River. The Woodland people stopped trading about 1500 years ago, but continued to inhabit the area for another 500 years.

Mississippian Culture
About 1000 years ago, the Mississippian culture emerged, with corn agriculture, and the bow and arrow. Supplementing their diet of deer and elk, they ate corn, squash, and beans. They mined red pipestone which they carved into pipes in shapes archaeologist Kris Hirst describes as "almost art deco in appearance." Living along the Upper Mississippi River, these people were named by archaeologists Oneota after an Algonquin term for the Upper Iowa River. Oneota first lived at Red Wing and then in LaCrosse, before apparently leaving in the mid 1600s when Europeans (bringing devastating diseases) and other indian tribes moved into the area. Current research is attempting to identify the descendants of the Oneota.

http://minneapolis.about.com/cs/history/...
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To purchase antique maps.

Golfo del Messico 1698

Carte de La Louisianne - French Map of the Missouri River

Map of the Course of the Mississippi River from the Missouri and the Country of the Illinois to the Mouths of the Lower River

There are also many others.

http://www.greatriver.com/

-----------------------------Truth is stranger than fiction.

Bill's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
Last activity:
6 years 20 weeks

In Bronze Age in America Dr. Berry Fell will tell you, among other interesting things, that the Phoenicians mined and transported vast quantities of copper from Michigan. Dr. Fell was not an archaeologist and his claims were dismissed by those who require strict adherence to more accepted theories. The more accepted theories state that the American Indians in the area made a few bracelets from the hundreds of tons of copper.

Bronze Age in America is available at Amazon US.

How the Phoenicians gained the knowledge to sail their vessels to the Great Lakes leads to some interesting discussions. Personally, I think they had access to maps created by a civilization that existed much earlier and practiced a science of a different sort.

Dr. Fell also wrote America BC where he explains that almost everyone "discovered" America, available at Amazon US. As I said, Fell was a fringe kind of guy and detested by the orthodox.

Bill

crazyhoarse's picture
Member since:
27 June 2006
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4 years 17 weeks

You may've already considered this possibility yourself, but circa 1200 B.C. is around about when the Iron Age kicked in, superseding the need for such huge amounts of bronze; however, this would of course've resulted in a dramatic increase in the demand for iron ore, so one wonders what evidence - if any - there is for iron ore mining operations starting up around this time in places like say Brazil...

Brian Albin's picture
Member since:
15 October 2006
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6 years 39 weeks

You definitely got there ahead of me on that one. I had not given any thought to the Iron. I wonder how plausible it may be that Iron was available but bronze was prefered until it was no longer available and only then did iron take over.

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
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3 days 11 hours

I thought that Iron had some advantages over Bronze, which are independent of the availability of Bronze.

First, it is cheaper once you have figured out how to make it. There is more iron ore than copper.

Second, iron tools are harder than bronze tools, especially if you need a cutting edge fo some sort, making it better for tools and weapons.

And again separately, bronze is available, has been available continuously for many thousands of years. People never stopped using it, it just is not the most important material for tools any more.

epgrondine's picture
Member since:
23 October 2006
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3 weeks 1 day

Hi Brian -

The copper trade is covered extensively in my book "Man and Impact in the Americas", and the Copper Trading Giants' routes to the Atlantic are set out in detail in it.

As these Native American people were 7 and a half feet tall, all the other peoples remembered them, and remembered their wars with them. These traditions and the CTG's archaeological remains are set out in rock solid detail in "Man and Impact in the Americas".

A pocket of these Copper Trading Giants survived through to European contact at the mouth of the Susquehanna river, and parts of the first English colonists' accounts of them may be read in my book "Man and Impact in the Americas".

If you pick up the most recent copy of either "Ancient American" or "World Explorer" magazine at the newstand, you can read a small part of the English colonists' accounts of these people.

Besides documenting thoroughly the Native American copper trade, "Man and Impact in the Americas" also covers the effects of comet and asteroid impacts on the First Peoples in the Americas.

Many have told me it's a great book.

E.P. Grondine
Man and Impact in the Americas

plw12752anderson's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
6 years 26 weeks

Glad you have joined TDG and posted your information regarding your book. For everyone's information here is a link to an excellent essay on the Hensu CA. 3114 BCE impact historical information by Mr. Grondine. http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/ce1021...

Sincerely, Pam -----------------------------Truth is stranger than fiction.

Brian Albin's picture
Member since:
15 October 2006
Last activity:
6 years 39 weeks

Thank You, E.P. Grondine for the heads up on the English meeting with these tall people. I have read that when giant skeletons have been excavated in America they are often found to be wearing Bronze Armor. I wonder who these people were. What remains of the native American population today does not show unusual height so it would seem those giants were not ancestors of any of today's tribes.

epgrondine's picture
Member since:
23 October 2006
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3 weeks 1 day

If my memory serves (and since my stroke this is iffy), in my research, I did not read any accounts of the finding of the remains of BRONZE armor with the remains of the Copper Trading Giants. The reports of the remains which were found are given in "Man and Impact in the Americas".

I don't know with any certainty if the giantism was genetic, or if a naturally occuring analog for HGH was being used. I set out the evidence for both in "Man and Impact in the Americas".

As far as any survival of a possible trait to present day peoples, I don't believe any DNA tests were performed on the remains found by Dragoo or Neuman, so I don't think you could take samples from Native American football players from some of the various peoples to see if they are descendants.

As I understand it, by the time of European contact the Copper Trading Giants were Iroquoian in language, but this is no indication as to what language they spoke originally.

E.P. Grondine
Man and Impact in the Americas

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
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3 days 11 hours

Another possibility, perhaps only a remote one, is that these people found out about steroids, and human growth hormone. Or other such food supplements.

Look at the athletes in some professional sports, like in basketball and in american football. Or in swimming. Or in cycling. Everyone there is specialized, with suitable hormone supplements, do do their tasks.

So why not these people you write about?

nochickenheart's picture
Member since:
11 July 2011
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2 years 41 weeks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corinthian_...

Maybe so the next great questions becomes when did it become so expensive and really xxt why did it become so expensive ;P

emlong's picture
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18 September 2007
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7 hours 13 min

Could the copper trading giants have been a genetic cross between Celtic peoples and the Iroquoian race? It is not improbable that Celtic or Norse people's landed on North America even farther backin time than the most liberal of current theorists proclaim. Of course giantism can be a tribal trait too.

Fell was such an interesting guy. His analysis of Ogham markings on stones in New England is decisive for me. I can't believe the hoops being jumped through by staid academics who try to say that these markings are from colonist plowshares or just random markings. That is such a ludicrous take on it that it smacks of scientific comservatism not really interested in science so much as defending to the death an older idea. Also the lingual coincidences between Iroquoian words and Celtic words are just so close that the odds of their being coincidence is just laughable to consider. Fell pissed off so many people because he hit the mark right straight to the heart of some sick hearts indeed - old fogeys who grew up with a certain worldview and who hung on to it like children suckling at breasts.