August 15, 2018

1,500 BCE Vast Trade Network Uncovered Between the Southeast and Great Lakes Region

Researchers excavating at a Late Archaic shell ring on the coast of Georgia found a copper band alongside the cremated remains of seven individuals. The remains and copper band are dated at more than 3,500 years ago. Copper and cremated remains from the Late Archaic (3000-8000 years ago) have been rarely, if ever found in the Southeast. The discovery pushes the practice of cremation and the use of copper in the region back to 1000 years earlier.

The copper came from the Great Lakes region. This also pushes the trade of copper in the region much further geographically at this early time. Cremation has been absent as a burial practice in the Southeast during this time period, but is more common in the Great Lakes region. This indicates that the two regions were connected cosmologically and artistically in a much earlier time period. So there was a vast trade network that covered half the continent 3000 years ago.

The National Science Foundation has given a large grant to the research team to continue to investigate this early vast trade network.The paper is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Archaeology News Network has the report here;

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