A Comparative Functional Analysis of Old Copper Culture Utilitarian Implements via Artifact Replication, Materials Testing, and Ballistic Analyses
Author(s): Michelle Bebber
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
North America's Old Copper Culture (4000-1000 B.C.) is a unique event in archaeologists’ global understanding of prehistoric metallurgic evolution. For millennia, Middle and Late Archaic hunter-gatherers around the North American Upper Great Lakes region regularly made utilitarian implements out of copper, only for these items to decline in prominence and frequency as populations grew and social complexity increased during the Archaic to Woodland Transition. Yet, it may be reasonably asked whether these demographic and social factors are the only, or predominant, factors contributing to this evolutionary pattern. To answer this question, an extensive archaeological experimental program was initiated which compared replica copper tools (spear points, knife blades, and awls) to analogous ones made of stone or bone in order to assess whether relative functional efficiency also contributed to the decline of utilitarian copper implements. This series of experiments consists of a controlled ballistics study, a cutting efficiency and durability study, and a punching efficiency study using an Instron materials tester.
Cite this Record
A Comparative Functional Analysis of Old Copper Culture Utilitarian Implements via Artifact Replication, Materials Testing, and Ballistic Analyses. Michelle Bebber. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450164)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23815