Researchers reveal how prehistoric Native Americans of Cahokia made copper artifacts

Researchers reveal how prehistoric Native Americans of Cahokia made copper artifactsBy Erin White, Northwestern UniversityNorthwestern University researchers ditched many of their high-tech tools and turned to large stones, fire and some old-fashioned elbow grease to recreate techniques used by Native American coppersmiths who lived more than 600 years ago.This prehistoric approach to metalworking was part of a metallurgical analysis of copper artifacts left behind by the Mississippians of the Cahokia Mounds, who lived in southwestern Illinois from 700 until 1400 A.D. The study was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science in May.The researchers were able to identify how the coppersmiths of Cahokia likely set up their workshop and the methods and tools used to work copper nuggets into sacred jewelry, headdresses, breastplates and other regalia.?Metals store clues within their structure that can help explain how they were processed,? said David Dunand, the James N. and Margie M. Krebs Professor of mat

"Metals store clues within their structure that can help explain how they were processed," said David Dunand, the James N. and Margie M. Krebs Professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and co-author of the paper. "We were lucky enough to analyze small, discarded pieces of copper found on the ground of the excavated 'copper workshop house' in Cahokia and determine how the metal was worked by the Cahokians."
"We cut through some samples of the copper pieces and polished them to look at the grain structures of the copper with a microscope," said Deymier-Black, second author of the paper.
"I'm delighted that through the scientific process we were able to confirm some of the techniques and end some disputes about how the copper artifacts were made," said Brown, also an international expert on Native American archaeology. "This study gives some of the real details, so that an observer can imagine how it was done and could possibly hook onto other kinds of observations about the people of Cahokia."

Researchers reveal how prehistoric Native Americans of Cahokia made copper artifacts

Northwestern University researchers ditched many of their high-tech tools and turned to large stones, fire and some old-fashioned elbow grease to recreate techniques used by Native American ...

Mon 13 Jun 11 from Phys.org

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Researchers reveal how prehistoric Native Americans of Cahokia made copper artifacts.

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Researchers reveal how prehistoric Native Americans of Cahokia made copper artifactsBy Erin White, Northwestern UniversityNorthwestern University researchers ditched many of their high-tech ...

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How prehistoric Native Americans of Cahokia made copper artifacts

Researchers ditched many of their high-tech tools and turned to large stones, fire and some old-fashioned elbow grease to recreate techniques used by Native American coppersmiths who lived more ...

Mon 13 Jun 11 from ScienceDaily

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