Elemental Analysis of Scioto Valley Hopewell Copper


Artifacts of copper occupy a position of prominence in the Hopewell societies of Ohio’s Scioto Valley. Earspools, repousse plaques, effigy cutouts, celts, and a wide variety of other forms represent a technological and artistic mastery of the medium. These artifacts also represent the social contacts and long distance interactions that brought copper to the Scioto Valley and yet our understanding of copper acquisition for Ohio Hopewell, and the movement of copper artifacts within the social networks of the Scioto Valley and beyond, is limited and often contentiously speculative due to the limited availability of geochemical data concerning provenance and variability. This project begins to develop the foundation for our understanding of these important social issues by examining the elemental variability of Hopewell copper through the use of laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Dozens of samples from several prominent sites in the Scioto Valley have been analyzed using the elemental analysis laboratory at the Field Museum in Chicago. We explore the elemental variability in Hopewell copper across this region, enhancing our knowledge of both acquisition methods and the social processes through which copper represented important meanings and identities.

Cite this Record

Elemental Analysis of Scioto Valley Hopewell Copper. Mark Hill, Kevin Nolan, Mark Seeman, Laure Dussubieux. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405354)

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Geographic Keywords
North America - Midwest

Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;