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Metallurgical Beginnings: The Case for Copper in the Prehistoric American Southwest

Stanley H. Ross
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Vol. 58, No. 2 (Jun., 1968), pp. 360-370
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2561620
Page Count: 11
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Metallurgical Beginnings: The Case for Copper in the Prehistoric American Southwest
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Abstract

Indications of a pre-Columbian copper industry in the American Southwest are analyzed in terms of Old World findings and possible theories of metallurgical origins. These theories are tested in terms of the prehistoric level of knowledge about the Southwestern environment and the technological means of exploiting it. Knowledge of working of raw copper and copper minerals, utilization of charcoal and coal, the ability to mine, and the existence in the area of cast copper objects all indicate that metallurgy could have been practiced prehistorically in this area.

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