Dating antique copper

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The first and most visible types of sites are Base Camps , which have either annual or seasonal occupation. The second site-type are Special Purpose Sites , i. These were occupied for a short period of time and little material evidence remains from these type of sites. The third type are Quarry Sites , where the main focus is processing raw materials, such as lithics or copper. The fourth type of Archaic Period sites are Mortuary or burial sites, where distinctive sacred areas were selected and rituals performed.

Despite the development of the Archaic Tradition throughout the Upper Midwest being sporadic and uneven, the period can be defined by three main unifying characteristics: The Middle Archaic Period begins around 6, years ago based on the innovation of several distinctive artifact types. It was during this period that the Old Copper Complex began to heavily utilize native copper for the production of utilitarian items such as knives, projectile points, woodworking tools, perforators and ornaments.

The popular belief was that this sophisticated technology could not have been the product of the indigenous tribes who occupied the Great Lakes region before European settlement.

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Previous theories claimed that Bronze Age peoples from Europe made their way to Lake Superior to supply the demand for copper across the Atlantic Ocean. Other dubious theories attributed this copper production variously to the Phoenicians, the Berbers, and the Vikings Griffin , Martin, Not surprisingly, no archaeological evidence has been found to substantiate such notions. Increased scientific inquiry and archaeological excavations at the turn of the last century led to changed perspectives. Nevertheless, it was not until the development of radiocarbon dating in the s that the first conclusive evidence of the age of the Old Copper Complex in Wisconsin was realized.


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These results provided conclusive evidence that aboriginal use of Great Lakes copper began during Middle Archaic times, circa 4, B. During the s Dr. Ritzenthaler of the Milwaukee Public Museum postulated that the origin of the Old Copper Complex "occurred when an early hunting and gathering group living in the Wisconsin area began to utilize native copper for the production of the distinctive utilitarian types of that area. At first, the nuggets in the glacial drift provided a handy source; later, copper was quarried from the trap rocks of Isle Royale and the Keweenaw Peninsula" along the south shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan Ritzenthaler There has been little dispute over the last century that the primary copper sources that were exploited by the Old Copper Complex manufactures came from natural ore deposits spanning miles along the southern shores of Lake Superior on the Keweenaw Peninsula.

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The most heavily utilized mines were discovered at Isle Royale, Keweenaw and Ontonagon. The following is an excerpt from the turn of the last century by Mr.

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Reeder of the Tamarack Mining Company in Calumet, Michigan, as he describes the ore deposits in this region. To say that there are thousands would not be exaggerating. They extend from a few feet to as much as thirty feet into the gravel and solid rock" Brown Recent analysis of these prehistoric copper pits has generated great debate regarding the amount of copper extracted from them.

Precisely what tonnage of copper was mined is difficult to determine, as no comprehensive study of the prehistoric mines has been completed. The largest estimate puts the total extracted copper ore during the Archaic period at as much as 1. However, the real amount of native copper ore extracted during the prehistoric period is currently unknown Martin There is less contention regarding the techniques used to extract the copper from the bedrock.

Thousands of grooved hammerstones have been found in and around these prehistoric mining pits, supporting the theory that a great deal of manual labor was necessary to remove the copper ore. Another useful technique likely used to extract the ore was via thermal induced shattering, in which miners would light a fire beside the desired vein of ore, thus heating the rock surface.

The pot at this link has either never been used or used very little and I'm guessing was made this century.


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  7. OP's has been used somewhat-the solder in bottom joints is oxidized and some has leached out probably due to heat. I am thinking due to very similar solder job including color, flatness etc. OP's may date way back into 20th C. These same exact designs are still in use in some places and these items most likely come from one or more such places. JMHO-I know nothing about kitchenware.

    I do find copper pots confusing and I guess others have too. There seems to be a lot of variation in what people say the age of their pieces are and maybe it goes with the nature of hand made.

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    My pot has been used quite a lot as much of the tin lining is wearing away but you can use a pot a lot in a few years especially if you stick it over a fire. It seems of better quality than some of the copper I've had from Turkey? It's still pretty heavy for cooking in. There are lots of re-enactors in this area.

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    I wonder if this might have been a camp prop for some Civil War buffs. Draft saved Draft deleted. Share This Page Tweet.

    Your name or email address: Do you already have an account? No, create an account now. Yes, my password is: Chinese Cloisonne On Copper Jars. Heavy Brass Copper Goblet.