Vikings? In Michigan?
Do you find that hard to believe? Then consider the following.
Keweenaw copper has been found as far south as central America and as far east as India. About 5,000 years ago, an unknown people mined copper extensively in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. They minded over a half billion pounds of copper until about 1200 BC when all mining abruptly stopped. Experts estimate that it would have taken 10,000 miners over 2,000 years to remove such a massive amount of copper.
The Bronze Age in Europe demanded massive amounts of copper to make bronze, which is 70-80% copper. The ancient Egyptians required large amounts of copper for their massive building projects.
Scientists are able to examine a piece of copper and determine precisely what mine it came from. This proves that Keweenaw copper traveled all over the ancient world. At least 5,000 prehistoric mines have been counted on Isle Royale and the Keweenaw.
Evidence suggests a second wave of copper mining started in 900 AD when Vikings arrived in the area and continued until 1300 AD. The stone tools found here are exactly like stone tools found in Denmark. The mining techniques, such as the wood cribbing found in the Keweenaw, are identical to the mining techniques from the same period in Denmark.
Ancient Viking axes and tools have also been found in the Keweenaw and across the UP as well as around the Canadian shores of Lake Superior. A Viking spear was found near Sault Ste. Marie and an ax near Marquette. These axes and tools were made by smelting copper and pouring the molten copper into forms. This technology was never used by the North American Indians.
Implements and decorative objects fashioned from Keweenaw copper have been found in ancient mounds all across the country and even in Mayan monuments in central America.