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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:11 PM

America Unearthed

The H2 Channel has a very interesting new series hosted by forensic geologist Scott Wolter. It combines history, science, and geology in exploring many areas in America. It airs on Fridays at 10 p.m.

I missed the first week, but the videos are available on line in case you don't have access to H2:

http://www.history.com/shows/america-unearthed/videos#america-unearthed-great-lakes-copper-heist

6 replies, 6161 views

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply America Unearthed (Original post)
PADemD Jan 2013 OP
tnlurker Jan 2013 #1
bhikkhu Jan 2013 #2
arcane1 Jan 2013 #4
pmf98368 Jan 2013 #3
bhikkhu Jan 2013 #5
tstricker Nov 2013 #6

Response to PADemD (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:57 PM

1. I saw the episode last night for the first time

It was interesting. Basically he was theorizing that the Minoan civilization had mined the copper to fuel the bronze age with copper from the upper peninsula of Michigan. Supposedly some people had found a clay tablet that had Minoan symbols on it in the late 1890's and there is an Native American stone drawing of a squared sailed vessel in the area.

It disappointed me that there was no discussion on how they traveled down the Great Lakes to get to the open ocean with the cargo though.



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Response to tnlurker (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:56 PM

2. Ugh...I just watched it

So a big part of that was the Newberry tablet, which is pretty conclusively fake. 3 minutes with google are all you need there, but what are the odds that unbaked clay would survive 3,500 years in the Michigan soil? Not to mention, the discoverer's stepdaughter wrote that her father made it, along with other "relics".

The guy also proposed several times that they were going to analyze the purity of a sample from Michigan and compare it to the purity of a sample from a Minoan shipwreck in the Mediterranean - and correspondence was supposed to "prove" that the Minoan copper came from Michigan...the problem there (unmentioned by the "scientist") is that its well known the native Michigan copper is about 99% pure. Any copper roughly refined anywhere in the world will also be about 99%.

What would be needed to at least suggest an origin is an analysis and comparison of trace elements, which is neither mentioned nor suggested. Probably someone has done it and it proved negative, which is the only reason I can think for it being avoided (similar to how they avoid the Newberry fraud evidence). Leading me to think this is just another fuzzy-headed wide-eyed product of our american tv-land idiocracy.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:32 PM

4. I don't trust a damned thing on the "History" channel

or the "Discovery" and "Learning" channels either.

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Response to PADemD (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:21 PM

3. copper show

I've heard much the same theories for ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians but what I really want to know, if these theories are true , is Who told them to look halfway round the world for these rich deposits!

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Response to pmf98368 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:48 PM

5. Another 5 minutes on the internet says "they didn't":

http://mygeologypage.ucdavis.edu/cowen/~GEL115/115CH4.html

...Cyprus had "extraordinary copper deposits", which were mined extensively through the bronze age. Other sources were scattered all over the ancient mediterranean world, almost always heavily laced with arsenic. "After 3000 BC, Cretan and Western Mediterranean bronzes were largely made with arsenic, Egyptian bronzes almost exclusively with arsenic"...which would rule out American sources, even it was somehow economical to sail halfway around the world for something that was available locally, and not that hard to smelt.

What actually made the most impression on me about "early contact" theories, which I've read extensively, is the book "1491". It looks at disease transmission, and the signature that disease transmission leaves on a population and its immune systems. Keeping in mind that there was only a handful of contact points and 20 years of so of the official "age of discovery" before a host of epidemics began depopulating the America's, the likelihood of any previous contact is slim. It would have brought disease, which would have caused epidemics, which would have become endemic (as they were generally in Europe and Asia) and then left a permanent indication in the immune systems of the people here. No evidence of that means very likely no significant contact.

Another central part of that book talks about the levels of population here, which was at least an order of magnitude higher than though even a couple of decades ago. Lots of people makes a big market for lots of copper, and the idea that it couldn't have been used domestically relies on the unspoken assumption that the Americas were primitive and relatively unpopulated.

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Response to PADemD (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:36 PM

6. Copper Mines in Michigan

Yeah, I saw the program too. The narrator is a self-proclaimed "researcher" in ancient civilizations. I am disappointed that the History Channel has so few solidly based programs and well-researched units on History. If this Scott Wolter knew anything about archeology, he would have had his samples dated through carbon-14 dating (see a very thorough examination of English and Irish copper mines, including carbon-14 dating of all sites, in "The Oxford Journal of Archeology", The Mineralogy of Bronze Age Copper Minings, 1998, Blackwell Publishers.
This guy has government cover-ups on the brain, cover-ups with no proof or reasonable evidence. It's too bad, History Channel and H2 will very occasionally have some interesting program, but most of what they produce is on the level of "American Unearthed" or "Ancient Aliens".

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