Bronze Age Town & Gulf Ports on the Copper Trail
Open-fire manufacturing of Copper Oxhides
continued from Page 5 …various collections.” Most of the plummets were hematite, 1/ 3 magnetite, one of copper. Ford says that “when the large number of plummets that have been gathered and sold to collectors over the last 50 years is considered, it is apparent that [hematite] was brought here by boat loads.” Gibson says it is estimated that there remain 75-100 tons of exotic rock at the site, and there are hundreds of thousands of “perfectly good tools.” He states: “expect the unusual, and it is likely to show up… If I had to sum up Poverty Points gear and appliances in a single word, it would be abundant. If I could use two words, I would say abundant and rich.”
Gibson reports that hundreds of post-molds and firepits Were scattered across the rings. In excavating hearths and pits, some were found that “raised questions that can not be answered at present … one burned area was 4’ across … seven superimposed hearths were dug on successive building layers, in the third upper western ring segment. Each was about 3′ in diameter. An excavation on the first NW ring revealed an average of one pit for every compact-car sized area.” (Ref. 1). The rings had caches and deposits of objects. Perforators used to drill stone were concentrated in just the 3rd southwestern ring, and the fifth southern ring, yet the cores from which the perforators were made were primarily found on the other segments. Thus, the distribution of tools is very uneven, revealing divisions of labor, and manufacturing specialization. For example, Gibson writes “no tools described as ‘women‘s culinary’ were found in the western three ring groups, but were 10-20% of the finds nearer the Bayou. The west and Northwest ring sets were very low in all finds…over half of the little specialized drills were surface-collected from just two segments” (Ref. 1).
Routes for the extraction of Michigan’s copper have been traced downstream from Isle Royale and the Keweenaw Peninsula (Fig.2). These routes run past storage pits with corroded copper in them, past Beaver Island, with its ancient raised garden beds and huge 39-stone circle. In the Great Lakes, water levels fluctuated widely, as ice dams retreated, and the land rebounded from the glacial weight. At 2300 BC there was a high water stage, called the “Nipissing Stage” (Refs.19,21,39). Dr. Jim Schertz, Professor Emeritus with the Ancient Earthworks Society, says that when the water rose 40 feet above present levels, an outlet opened into the Illinois River, through the present chicago Ship Canal. On the south bank, where the river started, stood a 3,000 pound stone block, overlooking Lake Michigan. Known as the Waubansee Stone (top, Fig.2), now in the hall of the Chicago Historical Society. It is carved with the face of a man with a beard and holes connecting the bowl at the top to the mouth of the face. It appears to be the face of Moloch on a Phoenician Tophet, where sacrifices were made prior to the perilous voyage, loaded with copper, down the rivers to Poverty Point (Ref.40). Ships then entered the Chicago River, and then ran down the Illinois River, to the Mississippi, or from Green Bay, down the Wisconsin and the Mississippi to Poverty Point. Some copper went east, down the Ottawa River, and the Trent/Severn Waterway to the St. Lawrence River, and some went further south, and down the Chaudiere River from Quebec to Lake Megantic, then down the Kennebec river to the Maine coast (Ref.3). Nevertheless, most of the half billion tons of missing copper (Ref.10) must have gone down the Mississippi. …continued on Page 7