The Diversity of Old Copper Culture Projectile Points

Author(s): Richard Meindl; Michelle Bebber

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The Old Copper Culture (OCC) (4000-1000 B.C.) of the Lake Superior Region of North America features a wide variety of utilitarian tools manufactured from native copper. Here, we assess the technological diversity of copper projectile points found in the region spanning Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota U.S.A., as well as artifacts found in Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba, Canada. A sample of over 300 spear points was classified using paradigmatic classification, from which estimates of diversity were calculated for the OCC heartland and periphery. Our analysis provides insight into lesser known aspects of the Old Copper Complex such as the presence of localized variants, technical specialization, and knowledge transmission, while elucidating the ways in which Archaic groups at the periphery of the OCC heartland may have deviated from the core area. Diversity research on copper tools can clarify not only social and cultural patterns, but also may offer insight into ecological and environmental constraints on copper point form during the Archaic period.

Cite this Record

The Diversity of Old Copper Culture Projectile Points. Richard Meindl, Michelle Bebber. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450511)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -103.975; min lat: 36.598 ; max long: -80.42; max lat: 48.922 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25006