Former state archaeologist and UMMAA author John R. Halsey will give a presentation on Michigan's prehistoric copper mines on Saturday, November 10, at the Library of Michigan in Lansing. The Museum published Halsey's book, Prehistoric Copper Mining in Michigan: The Nineteenth-Century Discovery of “Ancient Diggings” in the Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale, in May.
Isle Royale and the counties that line the northwest coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are called Copper Country because of the rich deposits of native copper there. In the nineteenth century, explorers and miners discovered evidence of prehistoric copper mining in this region. They used those “ancient diggings” as a guide to establishing their own, much larger mines, and in the process, destroyed the archaeological record left by the prehistoric miners.
Halsey uses mining reports, newspaper accounts, personal letters, and other sources to reconstruct what these nineteenth-century discoverers found, how they interpreted the material remains of prehistoric activity, and what they did with the stone, wood, and copper tools they found at the prehistoric sites.
Foreword by John M. O’Shea, curator of Great Lakes Archaeology at UMMAA; afterword by Henry T. Wright, curator of Near Eastern Archaeology at UMMAA.
Prehistoric Copper Mining in Michigan: The Nineteenth-Century Discovery of “Ancient Diggings” in the Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale is available for $40. Order from Amazon.