Skip to comments.Michigan Copper in the Mediterranean
Posted on 08/06/2011 4:11:06 PM PDT by Renfield
The Shipping of Michigan Copper across the Atlantic in the Bronze Age (Isle Royale and Keweenaw Peninsula, c. 2400BC-1200 BC)
Recent scientific literature has come to the conclusion that the major source of the copper that swept through the European Bronze Age after 2500 BC is unknown. However, these studies claim that the 10 tons of copper oxhide ingots recovered from the late Bronze Age (1300 BC) Uluburun shipwreck off the coast of Turkey was extraordinarily pure (more than 99.5% pure), and that it was not the product of smelting from ore. The oxhides are all brittle blister copper, with voids, slag bits, and oxides, created when the oxhides were made in multiple pourings outdoors over wood fires. Only Michigan Copper is of this purity, and it is known to have been mined in enormous quantities during the Bronze Age....
(Excerpt) Read more at grahamhancock.com ...
GGG pingy thingy.
Isle Royale is an excellent place to go backpacking.
Michigan got the better deal out of the Toledo strip dispute.
Michigan copper mining history.
I’m kind of shocked to see a new mining project is getting started up there. (Nickel and copper)
They dont call it the Copper Country for no reason.
In the Caledonia mine, they dug out a mass that weighed in at about 27 tons. You can still go up there and hunt for pure copper nuggets laying around on top of the ground. Divers have come back and said they saw massive outcroppings underwater in the big lake.
In gold, the michigan mine, was said to have produced the highest per ton to ounce ratio in history. It pinched out fast and they closed to mine. Yet nobody has ever bothered to drill test holes to see if they got it all.
Very interesting. Thanks for posting this. I think I remember Barry Fell postulating trade with the eastern Mediterranean. Are there any isotopes in the copper or in the inclusions that could help further identify it as from North America?
Copper was definitely king. I’ve even read that copper miners were allowed to keep the small amounts of gold they found because it was really little more than trash that got in the way of the real money.
amazing . there were more europeans in n.a. before columbus than indians want to admit.
I know a professor at Tech. He said that if they could only find a way to mine that copper that those mines would still be up and running. Copper is soft, so they tried coal mining equipment-it gummed it all up. They try to blast it and it simply expands and then contracts and doesnt break out. The only way was to dig it out basically by hand and that is labor intensive. That and the mines are to far down for open pit mining.
Its all still there. Waiting for someone to take the chance. Calumet came within a couple votes, or so, short of becoming the MI state capitol.
Would I live up there? HELL NO! GD it snows from Oct to May. I think the record is 384 inches up there. They actually use ladders to get down on top of their roofs to shovel them off. Only the Finlanders are ornery enough to live there.
My great grandfather spent some time as a sureyor in The UP immediately after returning from WWI. He rode an old Indian all over the up there and was also a photographer so he took some great photos that are now mostly in museums.
Pre historic UPers?
Exxon Minerals was slated to open a mine near Manistique, Michigan I think thought this was over 35 years ago.
I see something east of there so maybe they did.
“Only Michigan Copper is of this purity, and it is known to have been mined in enormous quantities during the Bronze Age....”
There’s pits on the Keweenaw mined by unknown ancient miners, but they never mined “enormous quantities.”
You can see how these ancient miners chipped away at the “Ontonagon Boulder,” which is on display at the Smithsonian Institute. Now, we don’t know who these ancient miners were, and these ancient miners and their identity are a true mystery.
The “ancient miners” chipped away at the abundant float copper on the Keweenaw Peninsula, but it was never in any great quantities.
BTW, how the Ontonagon Boulder got to the Smithsonian is a Hollywood movie in itself.
It involves a gunboat battle with a US Army ship that chased a free-wheeling adventurer who owned a sailing vessel to the Sault locks, wheeling and dealing with Anishinabe natives, several gunfights, and the captain of a vessel who had the guts to take on the entire US government.
The captain eventually beat all odds and displayed the Ontonagon Boulder in Detroit for 10¢ a peek. He made a fortune.
We need people like that today.
Roman coins were used by Eskimos before Columbus arrived in the New World. There was trade between local factions, the copper may have found its way to the Mediterrian by a series of transactions, with each party unaware of the provenance of the trade goods he was receiving. It may have passed through dozens of hands and several generations before finding its way to Europe.
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