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Old June 10th 04, 11:49 PM
Tom McDonald
Posts: n/a
Default Copper Casting In America (Trevelyan)

Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

Here's something else that I've just noted about this
subject. When I said "the Dumbing-Down Crew ... hard at
work", I was actually even more correct than I thought!

Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

Copper Casting In America (Trevelyan)

Greetings, all,

Here's a brief review of a new volume about Native American


_Miskwabik, metal of ritual: metallurgy in precontact
Eastern North America_, Amelia M. Trevelyan.
Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, c2004.

("Miskwabik" is an Ojibwa word for "copper".)

Miskwabik, Metal of Ritual examines the thousands
of beautiful and intricate ritual works of art -- from
ceremonial weaponry to delicate copper pendants
and ear ornaments -- created in eastern North
America before the arrival of Europeans. The first
comprehensive examination of this 3,000-year-old
metallurgical tradition,

What's that???

"3,000-year-old metallurgical tradition,"?

Golly gee, whoever had written this blurb doesn't even know
that this metallurgical tradition is actually 5000-year-old!


I noticed that, too. However, the blurb isn't the book. From
the looks of things, the blooper was made by the person who
wrote the blurb, not Ms. Trevelyan.

What a blooper!

Page 9 of Trevelyan's own book states,

"The Old Copper Culture was a Middle to Late Archaic
development that lasted from about 3000-1000 BC, and was
focused primarily in upper Great Lakes region."

This seems to be correct, although I would have chosen to call
it the 'Old Copper Complex'.

This blurb is found in a few places on the Net, for example

University Press of Kentucky

So this seems like a standard blurb.

Might could be. The blurb is wrong; Trevelyan's text is correct.

What a bunch of turkeys... Their ignorance seems infinite.

Maybe. But you haven't demonstrated either.

But I do thank you for pointing this book out to me.


the book provides unique
insight into the motivation of the artisans and the
significance of these objects, and highlights the
brilliance and sophistication of the early
civilizations of the Americas. Comparing the ritual
architecture and metallurgy of the original
Americans with the ethnological record, Amelia M.
Trevelyan begins to unravel the mystery of the
significance of the objects as well as their special
functions within the societies that created them. The
book includes dozens of striking color and black
and white photographs.

Amelia M. Trevelyan is Professor and Chair of Art
History at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois.


And here's a revealing quote from the above volume, p. 15.

"Metallurgical testing and observation indicate that native
copper was primarily cold-worked in precontact times and
forged rather than cast. However, because the temperatures
necessary for melting as well as smelting copper are
comparatively low, the latter was probably a technical

So here we see the political bias in American archaeology
laid out for all the world to see.

1. She doesn't even mention any of the available scientific
evidence indicating that, in precontact times, much copper
was cast rather than cold-worked and forged.

Perhaps you could show me some of this evidence (other than the
Connor web site or the Mallery book; I can always read the
former, and have requested the latter by ILL).

It may simply be plain ignorance on her part, but we
shouldn't also discount a possibility that she's
deliberately excluding any evidence that is not in accord
with her anti-Native political bias.

In any case, the name Mallory (a qualified engineer, and the
leading researcher in this area) is not mentioned in her
bibliography at all.

Why would it be mentioned? Her book is on copper usage,
(apparently more wrt its usage as art and ceremonial usage), and
most of Mallery's book is about iron. In any case, Trevelyan
would most likely have wanted primary sources on the metallurgy,
not a book like Mallery's which quotes them.

2. Yet she admits these things "were probably a technical
possibility". How generous of her!

So here we see the sort of an anti-Native bigotry that is
still all too common within our professional archaeological
establishment. These folks really still live in the middle

What a dark snake-pit of racism and bigotry our academic
establishment is... This never ceases to amaze me, I must

This is the Dumbing-Down Crew that is hard at work to deny
the cultural achievements of Native Americans.

Have you read the book? Or are you judging it by a
non-technical blurb and a few selected quotations? If the
former, good on ya; if the latter, then quityerbitchin until you

Tom McDonald