The Copper Trade of Hatteras Island

Author(s): Charlotte Goudge

Year: 2015


Excavations at the early contact Native American site on Hatteras Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina has yielded a number of copper artefacts in the course of the past six years of excavation. The excavations were run in conjunction with the University of Bristol and the Croatoan Archaeology Society in order to examine historic environment and settlement patterns of the island, as well as analyse the site’s material culture of both the local Croatoan natives and the European imports. Analyses of the copper artefacts using a Portable X-ray Fluorescence device indicated that the majority of the copper was actually a smelted alloy that was predominantly of European origin. The lack of everyday native material culture such as fish hooks, harpoons and knives that is characteristic of other sites in North Carolina and Virginia, suggests that the majority of the copper artefacts was brought to the island not by exchange with other Native tribes but by trade with Europeans. This paper will discuss the evidence gained by the analysis of the copper with a view to proving the origin of the copper discovered on Hatteras Island.

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Cite this Record

The Copper Trade of Hatteras Island. Charlotte Goudge. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396734)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;