The Protohistoric Transition in the Southwestern Lake Erie Region
Publication Type:Conference Paper
This paper follows the interpretation of the protohistoric period in the southwestern Lake Erie Basin from Fitting's 'cultural blank' to the present, tracing advancements in understanding brought about by new archaeological data and new methods of metal artifact analysis. Early in the 1980s, metal artifacts from the protohistoric Indian Hills site were subjected to atomic absorption and x-ray diffraction spectrometry which was used to distinguish copper and brass samples. A decade later, more samples from Indian Hills and newly discovered components were subjected to scanning electron microscopy, and initial attempts were made to separate European from native coppers. Most recently, X-ray flourescence has been applied to metal artifacts from both prehistoric and historic components in the region, revealing trends from native to European metal use. A current model of the protohistoric transition within the Sandusky tradition is offered.