Michigan Copper in the Mediterranean
(Isle Royale and Keweenaw Peninsula, c. 2400BC-1200 BC)
trade in the Eastern Mediterranean. “It is in the New Palace period in Bronze Age Minoan Crete, that we find a large increase in population, particularly in settlements along the coasts, the growth of towns, which in some cases surround mini-palaces, luxurious separate town houses at palatial and other sites, and fine country villas … Villas and houses at Ayia Triadha and Tylissos contained not only weights and loom weights, but also copper oxhide ingots and Linear A tablets, and both are rich in luxury products and bronze objects. Minoan prowess in metal weapon production was not limited to the long sword, but included the short sword, the solid long dagger and the shoe-socketed and tube-socketed spearhead and arrowhead, all of which may have made their first Aegean appearance in Crete” … Neopalatial Crete is extremely rich in bronze, but very poor in sources of copper and of course totally lacking in sources of tin” (Ref.23). The Newberry Tablet of Newberry, Michigan (Fig.6) is in a Cypriot/Cretan sylabary. Cretan script may have been the basis of the Cree sylabary (Ref. 7), and Mayan writing (Ref.3). The “Cavern of Glyphs” on the Ohio River had images of clothed figures that “singularly recall the dress of the Minoans, as seen on the frescoes at Knossos in Crete” (Ref.79). A Minoan pot has been unearthed in Louisiana. The Olmecs laid mosaic tiles at La Venta, (Mexico) upon asphalt, the same technique used in Crete (Ref.3). The excavation of the wealthy grave goods at Hallstatt (see Fig.5) show that traders brought Minoan pots as well as copperlbronze pots to trade for salt. It appears that the ruling elite of Hallstatt were among the end customers of Michigan copper, as well as the Egyptians.