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Awl, Copper

Copper awl Areas seemingly disturbed by modern activity can sometimes still harbor traces of the past. This corroded copper awl was recovered from a shovel test excavated during a survey for work on a parking lot in northern Wisconsin. The project area was crossed by an overhead power line corridor, as well as a gas main, which earlier investigations suspected had disrupted or destroyed evidence of past activity. The “positive” shovel test (one in which artifacts were found) with the awl, four other positive shovel tests with debris from making stone tools, and a lack of substantial mixing of the soil layers from heavy machinery showed that the power line corridor was not as disturbed as previously assumed. Therefore, the boundary of an adjacent, previously recorded Late Woodland period site, which contained a copper awl fragment and a piece of copper scrap among the artifacts found, was expanded to include the area with the positive shovel tests. The awl itself is 8.94 cm (3 1/2 inches) long, 1.7 cm (just under 11/16 inch) wide, and 4 mm (just over 5/32 inch) thick. It weighs 17.6 grams (0.62 ounces). Along with the copper from the previously recorded site, it suggests people were working copper there.

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