June 5, 2021
Hopewell culture traders from Ohio obtained copper from as far away as Ontario, 750 miles away 2000 years ago. It was seen as a powerful substance, associated with the Underwater Panther, the protector of copper. The Hopewell spanned 2000-1600 years ago. They made awls, flakers and chisels to make other skillful, artful things like breastplates and animal designs and spiritual symbols.
Copper is malleable but also heavy and durable, three times heavier than granite. Copper coming from so far away gave it tradition. And the specialized craftsmanship needed to hammer it into tools and designs. The Lake Superior region was where most of the copper came from, and directed quests were used to locate it and trade for it. Copper was used for 4000 years by inhabitants of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.
Some was so-called “float copper” found in glacial deposits in southern Michigan, eastern Wisconsin and northwestern Illinois, as well as in the southern Appalachians.
The research was published in the “Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports”
The Spartan Newsroom has the report here; https://news.jrn.msu.edu/2019/04/copper-culture-shapes-ancient-history/
Mike Ruggeri’s Adena and Hopewell World
Mike Ruggeri’s Adena and Hopewell Art