Bay of Fundy Provenance for Pre-contact Copper Artifacts from the Maritime Peninsula, Northeastern North America
We used non-destructive laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) to compare trace element concentrations in 50 copper artifacts from a variety of pre-contact sites in the Maritime Peninsula (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Maine), to natural copper samples from 16 geological sources in Michigan, Ontario, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the western and eastern regions of the Bay of Fundy. Of particular note is the contrasting composition of Lake Superior copper (elevated arsenic) and Bay of Fundy sources (elevated zinc). A Bay of Fundy provenance is unambiguous for many artifacts analyzed. Importantly, no artifacts have chemical compositions consistent with Lake Superior sources. The results establish the importance of local (Fundy) copper to pre-contact period Indigenous peoples of Nova Scotia and the Maritimes, negating the Lake Superior model. Furthermore, recognition of distinct eastern and western Fundy copper provenance within the artifact collection has significance in the broader context of territorial procurement of copper and trade relationships.
Cite this Record
Bay of Fundy Provenance for Pre-contact Copper Artifacts from the Maritime Peninsula, Northeastern North America. Catherine (Katie) Cottreau-Robins, Jacob Hanley, Paige Fleet, Christopher McFarlane, Brandon Boucher. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443443)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
Abstract Id(s): 22209