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Rediscovery and Analysis of Copper Beads from Three Iroquoian Sites in Jefferson County, New York

TitleRediscovery and Analysis of Copper Beads from Three Iroquoian Sites in Jefferson County, New York
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsAbel, TJ, Bradley, JW, Vavrasek, JL, Anderson, LM
JournalThe Bulletin and Journal of the New York State Archaeological Society
Volume133
Pagination47-52
ISBN Number1046-2368
Abstract

In his Antiquities of Onondaga, Vol. 9, William Beauchamp documented four rolled copper beads from Iroquoian contexts in Jefferson County, New York. He described most of these beads as either "European" or "likely European." To date, there has been no verifiable association of European-derived artifacts from any Iroquoian component in Jefferson or St. Lawrence Counties. If these beads could be analyzed and verified, the documentation of European-derived artifacts from these two late precontact Iroquoian village sites would be a significant contribution to our study of chronology for northern New York. However, the recent rediscovery of these and other probable Iroquoian-provenienced beads in the New York State Museum collections, and their subsequent analysis, shows conclusively that they are fashioned of native copper. The analysis documents the first precontact copper artifacts from Iroquoian contexts in the region, evincing their participation in the "New Copper" trade network throughout the Great Lakes. It remains the case that there are no good associations of European artifacts with Iroquoian occupations of northern New York.