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Ancient Native Americans were among the world’s first coppersmiths


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Interesting story here. I never heard of this before...

About 8500 years ago, hunter-gatherers living beside Eagle Lake in Wisconsin hammered out a conical, 10-centimeter-long projectile point made of pure copper. The finely crafted point, used to hunt big game, highlights a New World technological triumph—and a puzzle. A new study of that artifact and other traces of prehistoric mining concludes that what is known as the Old Copper Culture emerged, then mysteriously faded, far earlier than once thought.

Read on!

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/03/ancient-native-americans-were-among-world-s-first-coppersmiths

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Back then they used atlatl to hunt with. They were used to throw a spear that carried a much larger point. 

Later on the atlatl was not used. They hunted with a bow that used a lot smaller point. The game they hunted was also a lot smaller.

That is why we see such a huge size difference between the types of projectile points they used.

Copper would have been very heavy for the bows but not so much for a spear thrown from an atlatl. So it makes sense that the ancient ones would use a point fashioned from copper while the latter natives did not. 

When the white man came on the scene stone points disappeared all together. They were all made from steel and a few obsidian points. So the preference for metallic points is clear. The fact that copper was too soft and too heavy for an ideal projectile point probably played heavily in why the copper points didn't make the change to the strung bow.

Not only did the materials change when the bow came along but so did the way they made the points. The old atlatl points were nearly all percussion flaking while the later method was a lot more pressure flaking. Again the size of the projectile had a lot to do with the materials and methods they used.

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