reply to post by R0CR13
Are you serious? Why did you even bother to post? Just saying you agree is hardly worthy of a post. At least tell us why you agree.
While I have heard of evidence of copper being mined in the Great Lakes region, I have no way of knowing how much. I have never heard of evidence
of that copper having made its way to Europe. I think there are tests that can be performed on a sample that will tell you what region a sample comes
from, if you have a sample from that region to test against. Has any test like that been performed on European bronze or copper artifacts? It the
bronze age was fueled by North American copper, it should be rather obvious, an undertaking of that size. The simple fact (as far as I know) is that
no real, scientifically verifiable evidence of that has ever been found.
We can look at several of the myths and facts surrounding these claims:
1. Tons of copper mined in Michigan, particularly Isle Royale, resulting in "lost" quanities of copper.
This myth is proclaimed by several "alternative" writers, and is based on claims that ALOT of copper (some 1.5 billion
tons) was mined
by the lost Copper Culture. This "estimate" is based on alot of assumptions (such as an average pit depth of 30', which is simply NOT true) , and
is totally unscientific and basically a number drawn out of a hat, not even really an educated guess. More likely estimates put this number much,
much lower, and eliminates the "lost" copper.
2. The copper from Michigan and Europe is of the same purity.
It is difficult to examine the chemical formulas of 2 different samples of copper in detail, and smelted copper cannot be distinguished from a
native copper's purity. This means that just b/c 2 samples of copper are the same purity, doesn't mean they come from the same place. Actually, to
me it would mean 2 samples, one smelted one native, of the same purity ARE NOT from the same place, as a smelted sample should be more pure after
smelting, shouldn't it be? (This is an assumption on my part, as I"m not totally familiar with the effects of smelting on a sample of copper. A
purity test that was done as part of a television series, showed samples from Michigan and Europe having the same purity, though smelted copper from
Europe could just as easily be smelted to 99.9% purity, so that proves nothing. Trace elements (germanium, arsenic, etc.) would have to have been
the same to support this theory, and they simply didn't match.
3. There wasn't enough copper in Europe to account for all the copper used during the Bronze age.
Minerals that were exploitable for copper where found throughout Europe, such as Malachite mined at Rudna Glava (Serbia), Cabrierés (France)
or Chinflón (Riotinto, Spain). The mines were exploited in pretty creative ways, and could result in great quantities of ore extraced. At Mount
Gabriel, Ireland some 162.85 tons of copper is estimated to have been resulted. Smelted, that was about 146.56 tons (Jackson,1980). Cyprus is
belived to have been a major supplier of copper to the Roman Empire.The name “copper” is probably derived from the Latin “aes Cyprium,”
meaning “metal of Cyprus.”
4. Michigan was unknown to Ancient Europe.
I state this as a truth. There is no evidence of any ancient contact between North American copper extraction (by the Copper Culture, etc.)
and ancient Europeans. 2 copper artifacts were discovered at L'Anse Aux Meadows, but metallurgical testing shown this copper to have been mined
locally, probably by the Vikings that were there. While many Copper-Culture burial sites (and other indigenous native sites that traded with them
contained copper artifacts as well) have been uncovered, including skeletal remains with copper artifacts, no physical evidence of European contact
with this or other North American cultures has been found until after European exploration westward began. The Bronze age in Europe, of course, was
over by this time.
Evidence of an extensive trade network that would have been required to get North American copper to Bronze Age Europe has simply never been found,
either in North America or Europe. While not finding evidence of this doesn't prove it impossible, of course, it does promote the notion that it
didn't take place, simply by lack of evidence. If Europeans were somehow finding their way to North America, and trading for copper or mining it
themselves, SOMETHING would have been found, an European style bronze axe, or hammer, or something, anything, but nothing has been.
I think I have made my opinion on this rather obvious. Oh, and I actually have sources! Imagine that? I rarely see sources listed on this site,
which kinda annoys me because I enjoy doing further research on a topic.
 Review of America
Metalurgy during the Copper Age
 Wikipedia- Bronze Age
 Copper: An Ancient Metal-Dartmouth.Edu
L'Anse Aux Meadows Metalurgy
 Copper Culture
 Exploration of North America
 State of Our Copper Culture Knowldge