Saturday 22 June 2013

Copper Scraps Important Evidence at Werowocomoco

A notable example of text-driven archaeology from the US (Dan Vergano,  Virginia to preserve Pocahontas home, USA Today, June 20, 2013) at the "Werowocomoco (WER-ruh-wo-KOM-uh-ko) site near Gloucester, Va.". The excavated portion  located on a shallow bay on the York River is described by excavator  Martin Gallivan (College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.) as:
"one of the most significant archaeological sites in North America, it is where settlers and Native Americans first encountered each other [...] Jamestown and Williamsburg only tell one part of the story from the colonial era, we could tell another side at Werowocomoco." . 
Werowocomoco was the capital of chief Powhatan's kingship over Virginia's Tidewater region. Powhatan and the empire he put together were major players in 16th- and 17th-century East Coast history. Jamestown was founded some 16 miles away on swampy ground on the James River. Of note is that one of the features thought to clinch the identification of the site were:
more than a dozen copper scraps at the longhouse site, ones that chemically match European trade items used by Jamestown's colonists and also found at that site [...] Only chiefs controlled copper at the time. Its red color was ritually significant in their mythology," says Gallivan
Of course if the average metal detectorist had been there first and dug signals from shapeless copper scraps and nothing else to show what kind of site they were hoiking from, they'd probably just chuck the unrecognisable scrap in their scrap bucket and move of, thus depriving us not only of the knowledge of the presence of the site, but also destroying the information potential of the site for any future investigation. While not as nice a "collectable" as more (to them) recognizable objects, some, maybe much, of what artefact hunters are throwing away is nevertheless archaeological evidence.

One wonders, had there not been any texts with the romantic yarn about Captain John Smith and Pocahontas and her dad, would the findspot of these copper scraps ever have been investigated?

Meanwhile, here are just a few metal detectorists describing what they do with 'scrap' (ake - potential unrecognised archaeological evidence). All metal detecting forums near you are full of such information. Take a look at it and consider what it might mean.

Scrap Metal Bucket anyone do this? Treasure Net
[do it all the time, on my prowling, detecting trips, i pick up everything metal, it usually takes me about three weeks to get a load to sell, comes in 'right handy'.]

Another question for you "MD'ing Veterans"... SCRAP METALS recovered..... 
Treasure Net
["how do you tell what type of metal it is? [...] what should I be saving for scrap, and how do I identify it?"]

Scrap into CASH $$$$$$$, Friendly Metal Detecting Forum
"I had 2 buckets, one for copper, and one for brass.... [...] 90% of this stuff came from field hunting spring and fall. Got $95.46, not bad for junk metal".

Found in the Scrap Bucket Treasure Net
Metal detecting forums are replete with tales of an object that was only recognised for what it was months after it had been rejected off-hand and chucked into the 'scrap' bucket. By the time its identity is realised, the finder has lost all information about even the basic fact of which of his search sites it came from.The frequency of such admonitory stories make it difficult for artefact hunters' supportive "partners" to persuade that it does not go on. 


Perniagaan Logam Panchavarnam Sdn Bhd said...

Hai nice post you posted hers. This is help to know about copper scrap, here I will discuss something about copper recycling. In this world we have a lot of scrap recycling company here we use copper, aluminium, ferrous, and etc scraps the mostly 100% recycling scrap is copper and aluminium these two metals are again and again recycle without any loss of quality.
Do you know more about scrap copper? Or you want to know about copper?

Paul Barford said...

Perniagaan Logam has been spamm-commenting this post for weeks. Perniagaan Logam is from Malaysia. Perniagaan Logam is a scrap dealer. Scrap dealers who buy no-questions-asked ancient artefacts and cultural objects (such as statues, public art, monuments) but also stolen cables from railway lines etc at scrap value and then melt them down are evil. Perniagaan Logam says "
We buy & sell all type of scrap metal, aluminum, copper, iron steel.
". Perniagaan Logam seems not to know or care that he has stuck his self-serving comment advertising his indiscriminately-buying business under a post about the evils of melting down
"scrap" of archaeological interest. I therefore conclude that Perniagaan Logam is an evil man, and in my opinion, based on that fact, one nobody with a conscience should consider doing business. There should be laws against evil no-questions-asked scrap metal buyers like Perniagaan Logam - among the scum of the earth. Stop spamming my blog Perniagaan Logam and stop buying "all kinds" of scrap metal. May you rot in hell for ten times eternity for every cultural artefact you melt down.

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