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Re: Lake Superior native copper "cold" worked or cast? AA

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  • Susan
    Thanks for sending the links, Jo. A few from Ancient Wateways, including myself, attended the Ancient Artifact Preservation Society mini-conference last July
    Message 1 of 17 , Mar 31, 2010
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      Thanks for sending the links, Jo.  A few from Ancient Wateways, including myself,  attended the Ancient Artifact Preservation Society mini-conference last July in the Keweenaw Peninsula.  One of our members, Bob Wheeler of Houghton,  was one of the organizers of the three day event and led field trips to an aboriginal mine south of Houghton toward Ontonagon County, also led a discussion and tour of petroglyphs on his property in Houghton Co.  Three or four years ago this group hosted a small gathering in the Keweenaw, stayed at the Lakeside Cabins Resort on 26 not too many miles north from the Great Sand Bay you mentioned in your post, Jo.

      I received an email from June Rydholm last evening, just about a year since Fred's death.  She is planning a field trip north of Marquette, near Big Bay....continuing some of the conservation efforts the duo did together during their years together.

      And re: the inquiry from Ted about the float copper: 

      .... I think of the huge nugget he [Fred Rydholm] wanted to buy for a copper museum back when. 
      Ted
      PS Anybody have a digital photo of a piece of the float copper found on the UP?

      I donated $1/apiece to AAPS for forty postcards last fall with the photo of Rydholm lying atop the float copoper slab (he called it a nugget), and was going to send those to friends for holiday cards but did not get around to it. If any Ancient Waterways Society members would like one, please email me your mailing address and I would be glad to send you a complimentary one.  If you don't wish your address to be placed on the collector card, send a self-stamped envelope:

      Susan English, 1045 St. Austin Avenue,   Wausau, WI 54403

      I am sure AAPS would also appreciate a donation if anyone would like to purchase post cards.  I see they are running a special of 15 postcards for $10.  Proceeds go toward the proposed copper museum.

      http://www.aaapf.org/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=44

      Susan English

      --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, jo samuelson <josamuelson@...> wrote:

      I am not an expert on copper by any means but copper comes in many sizes, shapes, and mixed proportions with other elements. You can find it as float copper in hunks or dig for it mixed with rock. You can see specimens of float copper on ebay. I also included the photo blog from Pasty.com with the huge hunk of float copper found in Great Sand Bay in the Keweenaw back in 2001 and also a link to Da Yoopers guide to native copper. The last link of for A. E. Seaman Minerall museum at MTU. shows copper in varied forms. There are many many more links with pictures for copper specimens. Quincy Mine has a large float copper specimen right by the road in Hancock you can see a picture of if you go to that web site. (I think this was the specimen they found in Great Sand Bay.)
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      > Jo Ann
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      > http://collectibles.shop.ebay.com/Rocks-Fossils-Minerals-/3213/i.html?_nkw=copper+michigan
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      > http://www.pasty.com/discuss/messages/313/691.html
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      > http://www.nativecopper.com/
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      > http://www.museum.mtu.edu/Gallery/copper.html
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      > To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
      > From: tedsojka@...
      > Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:55:37 -0500
      > Subject: Re: [ancient_waterways_society] Lake Superior native copper "cold" worked or cast? Also supernatural deities
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      > Someone up in copper country please help us lowlanders out. I the stuff found along the beeches the pure copper or stuff mixed by nature with other substances? What did Fred Rydholm say about it. I think of the huge nugget he wanted to buy for a copper museum back when.

      > PS Anybody have a digital photo of a piece of the float copper found on the UP?

      > On Mar 24, 2010, at 11:55 AM, herbswoods wrote:
       
      > It is my understanding that Lake Superior native copper is almost pure metal with almost no impurities. The size and shape of the individual nuggets or sheets largely determined how easy it was to work and shape into a tool or implement.
      >
      > I have many pieces of native copper found on Keweenaw Point and in Northwest Wisconsin. They come in all shapes and sizes. The best of them have symbolic significance and appear in the form of mythical creatures or supernatural deities. The Indians knew and appreciated this manifestation of the great mystery of existence and those in the know still do.
      >
      > The smaller pieces of copper are easily pounded into simple useful shapes. Depending on their shape and size, some need very little actual working using simple pounding and heating technology. I don't understand what problem there might be.
      >
      > We know that some copper was "cold" worked by inclusions of pure native silver sometimes present and visible in ancient artifacts. If the copper had been melted and cast that silver would have formed an alloy no longer visible to the eye. Not to say that some native copper wasn't melted and cast. At least I don't rule that out. But much/most? of it was probably pounded/worked into shape.
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      > The greater puzzle to me is where the bulk of the ancient copper went considering the extent of the workings and how much must have been procured.
      >
      > --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, Ted Sojka tedsojka@ wrote:
      > >
      > > Mr. Conner,
      > >
      > > The pure float copper has many impurities making it very diffiucult to
      > > work. See my post about the native copper site of a week ago. The
      > > story tells of a Masters candidate from St. louis area that was at the
      > > site of the discovery of a copper workshop at Cahokia. She obtained
      > > some "pure" copper, and found it almost impossible to work and in no
      > > way sounded like the flat thin sheets found at the excavation site
      > > would be easy work.
      > >
      > > Ted
      > > On Mar 7, 2010, at 8:16 AM, conner6343@ wrote:
      > >
      > > >
      > > > The copper native Americans used in pre-Columbian times was not
      > > > smelted. Native (pure) copper from the Lake Superior copper region
      > > > was used. It is pure copper and needs no further refinement. It
      > > > does need to be meltedhowever, to make an artifact of copper.
      > > >
      > > > I have over the years found evidence of both copper and iron casting
      > > > in Ohio in prehistoric times. Also, I am certain charcoal was used
      > > > in the pit iron furnaces where wrought iron was made and cast iron
      > > > was also made. I believe wrought iron was the desired product of
      > > > the iron furnaces and that cast iron was usually made by mistake,
      > > > but not always because of the cast iron hand axe I found at a
      > > > wrought iron furnace site.
      > > >
      > > > William Conner
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > > From: Vince
      > > > To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
      > > > Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 8:59 PM
      > > > Subject: [ancient_waterways_society] Heat problem of smelting copper
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > When looking at the evidence of copper working in America, one is
      > > > struck with the possibility that smelting and annealing were
      > > > required to create copper celts, spears, figurines, and hooks.
      > > > Considering the heat requirements for smelting copper (~1000 degree
      > > > C), the obvious question is how to attain these temperature levels.
      > > > Wood fires (~200 Deg C) probably did not provide enough heat alone.
      > > >
      > > > An unexplored scenario is that natives used Oil as a source of fuel
      > > > in their fires to manufacture these copper artifacts. There is
      > > > evidence during prehistoric times at the Drake Well Museum grounds
      > > > near Oil Creek State Park in Pennsylvania that the natives were pits
      > > > for the purpose of collecting oil.
      > > >
      > > > See the following link for more information on these Native American
      > > > Oil pits
      > > > http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/ff280/Marburg72/Pennsylvania/?action=view&current=IMG_0237.jpg
      > > >
      > > > Also, it is known that natural gas and methane gas bubbles up in the
      > > > shallow bays and harbors. These gasses could have been collected in
      > > > hide bags and used to provide heat in their fires. Local Louisiana
      > > > lore is that these natural gasses were set on fire by the "settlers"
      > > > around the 1800's because the gas bubbles would capsize boats. These
      > > > fires could be seen for miles in the swamps and burned large
      > > > quantities of natural gas until the 1950.
      > > >
      > > > Fires could have also been fueled with "Buffalo Chips". These
      > > > compact fuel sources are renewable resources and but i am not
      > > > certain about the temperatures that could be achieved. Maria
      > > > Martinez used Cow chips in her pottery manufacturing process.
      > > >
      > > > Any comments are welcome;
      > > > Vince
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
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