Brown Bag Series - Tracing Interaction: Exploring Exchange and Social Change in the Western Great Lakes Archaic and Beyond
Compositional analysis of copper is used to explore interaction between the Late Archaic occupants of the Northern Lakes region and their contemporaries in eastern and east-central Wisconsin. Copper artifacts from Burnt Rollways phase sites in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula are compared with the Middle Archaic Reigh and Late Archaic Riverside sites. LA-ICPMS analysis of copper demonstrates differential acquisition of resources between Burnt Rollways and their contemporaries, and suggests barriers to social interaction between the Northern Lakes and societies in the Lake Winnebago and western Lake Michigan regions. The analysis also demonstrates that increasing interaction among the Old Copper and Red Ocher communities of Reigh, Riverside and Thiensville is accompanied by significant social change that emphasizes the growing social role of children and likely the formation of corporate groups. Meanwhile, analysis of copper from roughly contemporary sites to the south, including the Late Archaic Poverty Point site in the lower Mississippi Valley and the Middle Woodland Mann site in the Ohio Valley, indicate differential acquisition of copper and social interaction. Direct interaction involving western Great Lakes populations may extend only as far as the Ohio Valley.