Bronze Age Copper Mining in Michigan by Norsemen

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,516
#11
There are lots of fringe theories about all sorts of peoples visiting the Americas before medieval Norse, or between the Norse and Columbus, but not a strand of convincing evidence.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,359
Portugal
#12
There are lots of fringe theories about all sorts of peoples visiting the Americas before medieval Norse, or between the Norse and Columbus, but not a strand of convincing evidence.
Indeed but at least some are well elaborated. That doesn’t seem to be the case. Even in the case of the Norse we can’t stand for it without any doubt. We must see it as a very strong, plausible and reasonable theory.

Because what is relevant it is not if a ship from Europe reached America, but if a ship from Europe reached America and had an impact in the society which belonged or in the society that contacted.
 
Aug 2014
4,342
Australia
#13
I have heard of Native America trade networks linking the Great Lakes region with the Atlantic seaboard so that products from one region could find their way to the other. Copper mined in Michigan or Wisconsin could have found its way to New Foundland, but of course Leif Ericson's colony there was long after the Bronze Age.
"Hearing" of a thing is not evidence of a thing.
 
Jul 2009
9,754
#14
The Bronze Age collapse occurred around 1200-1100 B.C. The Norse began "colonization" closer to Scandinavia around 700-800 A.D. There is about a 2000 year disconnect between the end of the Bronze Age and the emergence of Norsemen as any sort of factor.

Michigan was a long way from Europe even 1000 years ago. Yes, access to the upper Great Lakes was a theoretical possibility down the St Lawrence River valley, but carrying capacity was minimal at best to transport any ore from Michigan to...anywhere frankly. This is a speculative fantasy IMO.
 

Lowell2

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,541
California
#15
I have heard of Native America trade networks linking the Great Lakes region with the Atlantic seaboard so that products from one region could find their way to the other. Copper mined in Michigan or Wisconsin could have found its way to New Foundland, but of course Leif Ericson's colony there was long after the Bronze Age.
There is indeed evidence of trade networks, but most of such evidence is of a much later period. https://www.academia.edu/4998969/Trade_Routes_in_the_Americas_Before_Columbus?auto=download
The Hopewell sphere (c.200bc–ad400), centred primarily in southern Ohio and Illinois, involved trade over distances that cover much of the continental United States. Hopewellians acquired marine shell from the Gulf of Mexico, sheet mica from the Appalachian Mountains, copper from the Great Lakes, and obsidian and grizzly-bear teeth from the Rocky Mountains, located some 1,200 miles (1,930 kilometres) away.
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,214
#16
it strikes me as more plausible that these mining sites were the work of local cultures. I am aware that native americans in the north built at least one civilisation in the Mississippi basin. There are still archeological remains of their cities to be seen today.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#17
The Bronze Age collapse occurred around 1200-1100 B.C. The Norse began "colonization" closer to Scandinavia around 700-800 A.D. There is about a 2000 year disconnect between the end of the Bronze Age and the emergence of Norsemen as any sort of factor.

Michigan was a long way from Europe even 1000 years ago. Yes, access to the upper Great Lakes was a theoretical possibility down the St Lawrence River valley, but carrying capacity was minimal at best to transport any ore from Michigan to...anywhere frankly. This is a speculative fantasy IMO.
Before the Soo Locks were built,, ships had to portaged and dragged past the rapids on the St. Marys rivef that connects Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Somehow, I don't see the Vikings hauling a ship load of core ore past the rapids, and then later on hauling their ships past Niagara Falls (Welland Canal was centuries in the future.) Before the canals were built, you couldn't sail all the way from the Atlantic to where the copper was in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. without portaging had hauling their ships past rapids and falls. With the technology of ancient and medieval times, it would not have been economical to ship copper to the olld world.

Also, there is zero evidence from any Viking presence in the interior of North America. Lake Superior is a lomg way from the Atlantic coast. Also, Scandinavia does have copper - the Falun copper mine in Sweden was once tne largest copper mine in Europe, so I don't see why the Vikings would travel thousands of miles, pasr rapids and water falls when they could copper in their own backyard.
 
Jun 2013
15
Bedfordshire, England
#18
"At Baffin Island in Arctic Canada a smelting crucible and traces of copper alloys confirmed Viking metallurgy in that region between c. 1000-1400 AD. Not only is this the earliest high-temperature nonferrous metalworking in the New World north of Mesoamerica, its uncovering at the second confirmed Viking settlement in Canada opens to the way to a previously unknown transatlantic trade network between Viking seafarers and Native Americans." Reference: Patricia Sutherland, Peter Thompson, Patricia Hunt, ‘Evidence of Early Metalworking in Arctic Canada’, Geoarchaeology 1 December 2014

This article includes several other ancient metal discoveries from the past couple of years.

Atlantean Brass and other ancient metals

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Jerry Glover, author DARK ARTS The Secret History of Cultures by their Symbols
 
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authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
5,118
#19
...the major source of the copper that swept through the European Bronze Age after 2500 BC is unknown.
That is one of the most researched and best known features of the bronze age. The sources are known and the isotopes matched against many archaeological finds.

The mines at places like Bischofshofen and on the Great Orme are well known. Finds such as the Nebra Sky Disk have been subject of much research. They know where the copper, tin and gold came from.

This is the mine on the Great Orme in Wales:




This is a study into the bronze age objects from the nordic bronze age.

Moving metals II: provenancing Scandinavian Bronze Age artefacts by lead isotope and elemental analyses


"Apart from a steady supply of copper from the Alpine ores in the North Tyrol, the main sources of copper seem to be ores from the Iberian Peninsula and Sardinia. Thus from the results presented here a new complex picture emerges of possible connectivities and flows in the Bronze Age between Scandinavia and Europe."
 

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