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The History of Mining: The events, technology and people involved in the industry that forged the modern world by Michael Coulson

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8. The Opening up of North America

Elsewhere we have talked about the discovery of ancient workings of copper in the Michigan Peninsular of the US and drew attention to the paucity of provenance as to who developed the workings and when. The earlier explorers who arrived in North America came across plenty of evidence of use of stone and metal for weapons and working implements such as axes and knives.

Copper artefacts and even jewellery were also found, suggesting that American Indians were able to work metal but that the raw material was native copper, mainly found lying on surface, suggesting no mining tradition amongst the continent’s indigenous people. Indeed Sebastian Cabot and Giovanni Verazzano came across Indian women wearing copper ...

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