Early Cultures: Pre-European Peoples of Wisconsin
Paleo Tradition Archaic Tradition Woodland Tradition Mississippian and Oneota Traditions
Archaeological Basics Native Technology Wisconsin Sites Glossary Home
Old Copper Culture
Image of Copper Points
Copper Points

Image of a Copper Awl
Copper Awl

Image of a Copper Point
Copper Point
The first use of copper seems to take place during this time period. Items made from copper appear to be useful items rather than objects for adornment. Artifacts that have been recovered include: spear points, knives, drills, axes, hooks and harpoons. Some items discovered in limited quantities include things such as rings, beads and pendants which were probably made for personal adornment.

While Archaic people across Wisconsin were involved in similar lifeways, archaeologists find that copper artifacts are mainly found in the eastern and northern part of the state. Archaeologists call the people involved in the use of copper the Old Copper Culture. Archaeologists still don't know why there are only limited copper artifacts found in the western part of the state.

The copper that Wisconsin Archaic people used was mined on the shores of Lake Superior. To get an item from one place to another people had to carry it. People may have traveled themselves to the area and brought back the item. Another way would be if people, traders, went to the area and brought the item back with them. Old Copper Culture people probably used both of these techniques to get copper. Archaeologists do know that widespread trading must have taken place because items such as marine shells from the southern Gulf Coast are found at Archaic sites.

<< Back


Axe Head
Site Credits