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Elemental Analysis of Late Archaic Copper from the McQueen Shell Ring, St. Catherines Island, Georgia

Author(s): Mark Hill ; Gregory Lattanzi ; Matthew Sanger ; Matthew Napolitano ; Laure Dussubieux

Year: 2017

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Excavations conducted at the McQueen Shell Ring site on St Catherines Island off the coast of Georgia recovered several fragments of a copper artifact. These fragments represent an artifact made from a thin sheet of copper, and were recovered from a Late Archaic feature with calibrated radiocarbon dates placing its use between 2300 and 1800 BC. Seven of these fragments were analyzed at the Elemental Analysis Facility of the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History to determine elemental composition with the intent of identifying probable sources for the copper from which the artifact was manufactured. Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was used to collect elemental composition data for these seven fragments as well as from geological source samples representing Lake Superior, the southern and central Appalachians, and the Canadian Maritimes. Two independent statistical analyses were performed on the resulting data. Both analyses place the most likely source for this artifact in the Lake Superior region far to the north rather than in the closer sources of the Appalachians, requiring a more complex explanatory framework to account for this long distance interaction or acquisition.

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Elemental Analysis of Late Archaic Copper from the McQueen Shell Ring, St. Catherines Island, Georgia. Mark Hill, Gregory Lattanzi, Matthew Sanger, Matthew Napolitano, Laure Dussubieux. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431771)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Southeast

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16401

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America