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Copper Artifacts Master Database

Okay, here's the honest truth. When I was curator at the Oconto Copper Burial Museum, I got into trouble with State Archaeologist Broihahn because I would not remove a display I'd created for the kids. Understand that the state archaeology office was not funding this museum in any form, and my committee composed of townspeople wanted the display to stay. I eventually tried to find something else to do in that space, but was removed as curator before that could happen. Now Broihahn is on the board of Wisconsin Archeologist (a journal), which explains why I've not been able to get a full article there, or get a grant from the Wisconsin Archeology Society. For this year's application, I want to put out photo displays at the various museums around the state showing what Hamilton artifacts were found in their areas. But the Wisconsin Historical Society (that employs Broihahn and artifacts are under his direction) is telling me that I have to pay to use the photos that I took from the public display of Hamilton artifacts in their building. And there is no posted notice that photos cannot be taken, or used.

So is Broihahn still mad? I suspect so.

So here's my new idea for the CAMD. I've been updating the Wittry Typology. I am now going to focus ONLY on trade, which is why I started this in the first place. I will track every artifact on the Wittry, and map every place where it's been found. It'll be time consuming but I think a very rewarding project.

I also continue to offer data from the CAMD to anyone who contacts me at [email protected] for a small stipend that is used to help this research continue.

American Archaeology Vol 20 No 4 Winter 2016-2017


Queried Bower museum 12/24/16

Pre-contact Asian Metals Found in Alaskan Residential Sites – two copper alloy objects are a good example of old world metal in Western Hemisphere – are they sure it couldn’t be from S.A.? One of the photos shown is a buckle, so that wouldn’t be SA. (p. 11 Tamara Stewart)

A Sense of Place by Mike Toner

P. 14 – Wright’s five-year study of Hohokam petroglyphs published in Religion on the Rocks demonstrates the key to interpretation is context.

Book costs $63. si

They continue to talk about the dissolution of the culture around 1450 CE – I sent an editorial asking why that date? Are they sure? I got a response from Aaron Wright who’s article is in that book and who is quoted in this article.

Basically the response is based on datings of the burials found, and the lack of anything indicating disease in the burials.

Use a quote:

I also wonder, based on this article, if the geometric designs they found in Hohokam indicate a connection to Mimbres. I remember noting this once before. Send this newsletter to Aaron.

p. 18, when  you see a large rock filled with animal figures, I think it’s to encourage game to come.

p. 19 – when the cause of change is uncertain – we cannot really eliminate European diseases. Aaron says no signs of cremation, but lack of evidence is not proof.

A New View of Moundville by Alexandra Witze

P. 21:

Again we see the date of 1450 as the length of this site. By why? Why is it so hard to understand what happened?

Insert photo of Moundville cup – looks Mayan. “Suggest the site evolved into a necropolis.” Necropolis is defined as a large ancient cemetery with elaborate tomb monuments. (p. 22)

P. 23 – around 1300 the number of burials increased dramatically. It appeared that a lot of people being buried there were from outlying settlements.

P. 24 – here’s a photo of that they call a winged serpent – true, a snake evolving into a hawk, but not, as they say, “suggestive of the site’s association with death.”

The site contains several owl effigies – I thought these were Mayan and ask Linda E. but she didn’t respond.

P. 25 – also no reason it fell apart after 1450.

How Were the Americas Colonized by David Malakoff

Here’s the map they used:

P. 40 – Back during my BA, around 1998, I said I believed that the Americas were settled on the western edge of the continents by Asians, and here they tend to agree with that, saying “first Americans travveled east from Asia, using boats to follow the arc of the Pacific Coast to new continents.” Also indicated that there’s nothing to show they came west from Europe.

Map shows some indication of this.

I need to check my database – do I have the McCarty Mound and does it indicate Hopewell? This is located near Cahokia. John Kelly did some of the research on this.

NEW UPDATED WITTRY TYPOLOGY is now on the home page under "links."

The following I gleaned from a book about geology in mythology called “Legends of the Earth,” by Dorothy Vitaliano. It was published back in 1973, and as with all older material, must be taken lightly, although the science here seems sound enough.

P. 37:  “Germanic tradition is particularly rich in giant lore. According to one German myth, the giants marred the pristine smoothness of the newly created earth by clumping about on its still-soft surface. Can we relate this to the “giants” found in the U.S.? Could the same giant race of whoever crossed Germanic lands at one time? There the giants could only move about in darkness and fog; the sun’s rays turned them to stone. Some mountains there must have inspired this legend.  The giants, however, became stuck when they tried to pass through the White Cliffs of Dover.

P. 41:  Devil’s Tower in Wyoming was supposedly created by a giant bear’s claws. Hopewells were very fond of bear iconography but it’s hard to say if they ever made it that far west.

P. 54: The Snake River in the Blue Mountains area of Washington and Oregon was said to have been inhabited by giants.  Every year they traveled eastward to seek children to eat.  But Coyote got all the diggers together to set a trap. Once trapped, the mountains rose up to remind people of their wrongdoing.

P. 67: The Phoenicians are known to have mined iron, copper, gold and tin as far away as England, Norway and Sweden.  Enough said on this topic.

P. 82.  According to the Indians of Southern California, the earth was held up by seven giants.

P. 223:  The Bronze Age began about 5000 years ago.  In South American, about 3000 years ago. The copper industry is as old as 10,000 years ago around the Great Lakes. That does not mean, however, that they invented copper tooling here. It means that the first humans here came over already knowing about and looking for copper, and were also annealing copper for 5,000 years in the old world before they began smelting it there.

Orichalcum or aurichalcum is a metal mentioned in several ancient writings, including the story of Atlantis in the Critias of Plato. Within the dialogue, Critias (460 – 403 BC) claims that orichalcum had been considered second only to gold in value and had been found and mined in many parts of Atlantis in ancient times, but that by Critias' own time orichalcum was known only by name. (Wikipedia)

Some people believe every single word of Plato's account to be true, while other people believe every single word to be totally false. Yet there are small details, like the mysterious alloy called "Orichalcum" which one translator, Sir Desmond Lee considered to be "a completely imaginary metal" but actually exists in the Andes as an alloy of gold and copper. Here is what Karen Olsen Bruhhs writing in "Ancient South America" has to say about it... "Copper and copper alloy objects were routinely gilded or silvered, the original colour apparently not being much valued. The gilded copper objects were often made of an alloy which came to be very important in all of South and Central American metallurgy: tumbaga. This is a gold-copper alloy which is significantly harder than copper, but which retains its flexibility when hammered. It is thus ideally suited to the formation of elaborate objects made of hammered sheet metal. In addition, it casts well and melts at a lower temperature than copper, always a consideration when fuel sources for a draught were the wind and men's lungs. The alloy could be made to look like pure gold by treatment of the finished face with an acid solution to dissolve the copper, and then by hammering or polishing to join the gold, giving a uniformly gold surface."

6/30/16: As promised at my Serpent Mound Solstice presentation in Ohio, here are the two links that I couldn't work because there was no internet. The first is of the 1006 supernova as seen by people on the ground.

And the second is my search on images of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered or horned serpent.

My final conclusion was that the Serpent Mound itself was to reassert the serpent iconography on the landscape to demonstrate to the sky gods that She wasn't afraid of them. It's pretty cool how this division worked, but now I'm going to do a total snake vs. hawk count from Mississippian and make a better map.  For the presentation I started with the ROC/Hopewell, and I had a lot of material.

And below is the photo that was really hard to see.

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