Copper Casting In Ancient America


Eric explains something to Doug and he responds with this:

An interesting question - one that is loaded with information about DOUG as well.

1- Doug states - Knowledge has to be acceptable before it can be called "knowledge" or in fact be "accepted". 2- Doug presents himself here as a person who claims to be a "researcher" via archaeology into ancient history. 3- Considering the statement he embeds into his question (and exposed in 1 above), he also indicates that history has to be written so that it is "acceptable" and not as it happened.

However one thing that isn't stated, but can safely be ASSUMED is that the "knowledge" has to be "acceptable" to Doug before it is allowed to be "knowledge"!! So ideologically Doug is no different from a Holocaust Denier - both have the identical ideology, that they knowledge has to be "acceptable" to their particular political bent.

So what IS Doug's political message here? The political agenda he has? The particular political barrow he is pushing?? Is it to demean the native population? He certainly thinks of them as totally incompetent

- denies their ability to smelt and cast copper, despite them having mined it for many millennia!

Reply to
Seppo Renfors
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This was nothing more than pathetic mudslinging and has NOTHING to do with the subject line - just another puppet dancing to Doug's string-pulling.

Reply to
Seppo Renfors

Your ommission of an adequate URL/Message ID makes this hard to follow but I have so far found only

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which refres to an improved blast system. However it gives no details.

Good God!

I come into another discussion (unspecified) and 'side track' it and now whatever has happened to this one is all my fault?

What have you been smoking? :-)

Eric Stevens

Reply to
Eric Stevens

Correct. Linear voids aren't porosity in the usual sense.

I was trying to be careful in my language. There may well be more exotic ways to generate internal bubbles in copper than atmospheric casting or arc welding. But I'm confident the statement is accurate in the context of this discussion.

Please note, however, that I am not a metallurgist by trade. I do have some training, and some experience working copper, but if you require a credentialed opinion, then I'd suggest consulting a metallurgist working for one of the large copper mining or fabricating companies.

I'd be very surprised if the Native Americans would have had much success producing porosity free castings using the simple casting methods likely to have been available to them.

Modern industry finds it difficult. They use chemical-electrolytic methods to get void free copper. High pressure casting machines, and the use of inert gas shielding, are other methods employed to produce nearly porosity free copper objects. Those methods should have been out of reach of Native Americans of the era under discussion.

For that reason, I'd consider porosity the "smoking gun" for ancient cast copper artifacts. Primitive essentially pure copper castings

*should* have porosity, so if it isn't there, then the object very likely wasn't cast.

(Note that the presence of significant alloying elements can change this statement dramatically, but isn't relevant for the nearly pure native copper under discussion.)

Please note that I'm am not saying that they couldn't have produced

*serviceable* castings. A little porosity won't ruin most castings. It is just something you *expect* to find in cast copper objects, even modern ones. Usually, it is harmless, but it will almost always show up on an X-ray.


Reply to
Gary Coffman

On Tue, 01 Jun 2004 21:38:06 +1200, Eric Stevens wrote: [SNIP]

I said never mind, I'm not going to bother to go back and show you what happened. I don't see any need for you to take total responsibility for anything in this thread in any case, and although I think you helped Inger evade an answer, I don't think you did it deliberately. So relax.

Reply to
Doug Weller

Apparently on date Tue, 01 Jun 2004 10:02:29 +1200, Eric Stevens

He he he, this is rich. Eric really thinks that pit furnaces were unknown in the 1960's in America. Almost a Kuchinskyism.

I'm just pointing out that you can't really demand an example of something which is commonplace, as proof that they don't exist.

I'm happy for you to adopt this position because it is silly and most people will recognise it for a silly position. I can then just comment on it from time to time so you keep asserting it and looking silly.

Alternatively, you can accept that there are *historic* pit furnaces to be found and stop trying to pretend I'm lying about the existence of *historic* pit furnaces.

I'm asserting that Aitchison is a writer who lives in Europe and Conner calls him a historian. This is backed up by the thing I am commenting on in the first place because that's why I'm commenting on it:

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I'm asserting that the website scores 9 or 10 on the scale of things that you find peer-reviewed journal publications around the 0 or 1 end.

I'm not even interested in the pit furnace in question, for all I care (on this thread) about it it can be 20,000 years old and built by Vikings with a signed certificate from Inger proving it is genuine.

Then having pointed out that Conner has built up the information (journalists would call this "puffing up") but he is basically asking a historian for an opinion based on a photograph. Having pointed this out, you want me to make statements about the historian's credentials. I don't care about Aitchison's credentials, he could be the world's authority on pit furnaces for all I care, what I am talking about is how Conner has built up a good sounding yarn on what can be (and almost certainly is) irrelevant actual data.

Whether he has done this or if his website has behind it some genuine ancient smelting archaeology, is neither here nor there. I'm commenting on how the website is constructed and why I think that devalues what Conner has to say.

And I can't think how I could actually lie in that process. I could present what the website says, wrongly. I don't think I've done that but heck, it wouldn't be the first time things have been misrepresented on usenet.

I could say something that was wrong, e.g. Conner was guilty of theft from his newspaper. But I don't need to do that, his website is adequate material already for me to take apart and analyse.

So what am I lying about Stevens? And you can spell my name right as well unless you are trying to advertise your dishonest debating style, lack of care or demonstrating remarkable ignorance (or find some other excuse for continuing to do it.)

If you have the information / wits of a child, I'll definitely treat you like one. If I want to attack you rather than your ideas, I'll do that too.

At the moment you are acting like a religious fundamentalist with a creed based on Conner's website.

So you can answer the questions as you have presumably already read more of his works and can provide answers to the questions I stated above?

So can you tell me for definite:

1) What date to what accuracy, does Conner say the iron furnaces were built? 2) Who does Conner say built the furnaces?

You can do it by furnace if you like.

If you can't even answer simple questions based on the website "studying" these pit furnaces then how can you be using it as a reliable reference?

Oh I can, I can say, for instance, that your reasoning style only gets you credit with Inger, Yuri, Seppo and the like and even then they're not genuinely taken in by it.

That's my opinion, I don't need to back it up.

People can judge me by my opinion if they want - it's a free country.

You have a very naive outlook if you are genuinely taken in by Conner's way of presenting this information. Which is at odds with the continual logic chopping you demonstrate when it's not a crackpot / loonsite you are "reasoning" with.

Which speaks volumes.

If you genuinely didn't understand here's the link emphasised:

"I knew American baseball players weren't world class authorities on football goal scoring because most football is played in Europe. So I wrote to a British embroidery expert, Miss Emma Bagthorpe, and asked her opinion on the goal..."

This is clearly illogical because we can all see at a glance that Miss Bagthorpe isn't a good choice to make. This is because there is a link between the stated aim - to get a world class authority on goal scoring - and the person selected to fulfil that aim - Miss Bagthorpe.

This isn't a question about how well qualified she is, for all I care Miss Bagthorpe can be a world class authority on football, what I'm saying is that the way the paragraph has been constructed is nice, presentational journalism.

And it's even more journalism to say "Miss Bagthorpe confirmed my opinion" rather than quoting her reply. It suggests the reply wasn't actually what my journalist wanted her to say ("why are you asking me, dearie? I don't know about football". Yes, and that's why my journalist was asking you, thanks for the confirmation.)

No, read the website with a bit more thought. Conner "studies metallurgy" which isn't clarified but would probably be a fair description of Conner reading the book "History of Metallurgy" and that this contained pictures of pit furnaces in the old world.

Conner then takes photographs of his pit furnace(s) and sends these to Aitchison. We don't what Aitchison said about these, but I doubt he would identify the *date* of the furnace from a *picture*. Conner has, though.

----- "As a columnist, I wanted to write about my experience with Mallery and his mysterious furnaces, so I read about the history of metallurgy. I learned that the first iron furnaces were indeed pit furnaces, and that they date back to

2,500 years or so ago in the Europe."

Following on from reading "A History of Metals" he has no doubt about who to ask for an opinion, the author of that book (one of the few in his bibliography, the other sources being Mallery's two books and his own book about Clyde Keeler.)

Go on then, how do /you/ go about assessing a date for a pit furnace when you only have a photograph of it to work with?

And don't squink out by saying you don't have to as you're not an authority, my method works fine (if producing a highly questionable result) and it's the only realistic approach I can think up to do this.

Yeah, thought so. We have to produce peer-reviewed journals while you can quote crackpot websites. No surprise there.

Reply to
Martyn Harrison

I believe that was Eric Stevens who called me a liar, although he seems to be unable to articulate what it is I am supposed to be lying about.

He seems to be under the impression that only Mallery had any idea about what a pit furnace was, in 1970, in America. But that's inferred from what he hasn't denied yet, because he's squinking like a stuck whittet just at the moment.

Reply to
Martyn Harrison

Apparently on date Tue, 01 Jun 2004 21:38:06 +1200, Eric Stevens

Inger says the word "rebirth" means that there was a prehistoric blast furnace which the 1802 furnace replaced.

Doug says the word "rebirth" means the furnace which was built in 1802 experienced a "renewed usefulness" due to improvements to the air blasting system sometime after 1802 (when it was presumably new.)

It's pretty obvious that Inger had a less obvious idea of what the word "rebirth" in the title meant, but to anyone who can read English the article is about the 1802 blast furnace and it is this which experiences the rebirth.

Now you have to support Inger.

So you think - what? That there is no such thing or that it didn't happen to the 1802 furnace?

Perhaps it would help if someone went back to the Ingerism and reposted it:

--------- But there is one article which can be interpreted that there might have existed knowledge of copper casting and furnace building in NA during Pre-Historic Age: WHITE, JOHN R., The Rebirth and Demise of Ohios Earliest Blast Furnace: An Archaeological Postmortem, Vol. 21, p. 217.

You can't have a rebirth if there haven't been a birth which leads us to two possible scenarios since we have to exclude scenario a: either we have to accept that there are an amount of artifacts where the figure for possible casting process used in Ancient Age are low or high. No other alternative exists.


There you are Eric, it's from Inger so you must agree with it, URL or not.

Could you explain the logic in the second part of the quote? I can't make it into any sort of sensible phrase, it's saying there are two possible scenarios and then rejects the possibility of an alternative to the comment about low and high cast, or something.

Reply to
Martyn Harrison

Apparently on date Tue, 01 Jun 2004 10:02:29 +1200, Eric Stevens

And I did. And I don't believe there weren't plenty in the 60's and 70's either.

Would the settlers who built them have been able to recognise their own pit furnaces?

I'm speechless. There's still nothing at all wrong with what I said, in my opinion, it's just fundamentally true that pit furnaces have been around for thousands of years, there are pit furnaces in America and there are educated people in America who know about all sorts of things including pit furnaces.

You aren't even specifying what is supposed to be the lie.

I think I need you to be specific about what I'm supposed to have lied about rather than just calling me a liar at random.

I'm not criticising Conner. I've said repeatedly that I like his technique for spinning a tale out of almost nothing, it's well done and the fact that you seem to think his website is convincing says more about you than anyone else.

In fact, that's about as far as I want to discuss this with you as your wild accusations are just bullshit and you don't seem to have much understanding of the thing we are discussing - and let me remind you it is *not* pit furnaces, it is website content.

Whether the object in the photograph sent to Aitchison was of a pit furnace is neither here nor there - it might as well have been since there are plenty of pit furnaces in Ohio so there's no real need to send a picture of a sheep or an outside toilet.

Right, so what was I lying about. Be Specific.

Reply to
Martyn Harrison

Martyn Harrison says in news:

Hey folks, might I make a point here. Calling people liars and all that, look who does it the most and look what credibility it lends her. Use these words conservatively, try to defend your arguments without getting to the villianifications. Many things here border on the untruth, sometimes because of misunderstanding, sometimes because of paranoia, and sometimes because we push our interpretations to the credible limits. When you call someone a liar on repeated occasion it reflects badly on the person who makes the claim, and that with foul language, reflects badly on this group (which you guys participate in and have your names associated with). Think about it. Besides that Eric, for all his flaws, has steered clear of alot of these BS slingfests initiated by you know who, while many of you continue to dive right into them, knowing full well where these always lead. Dougs appeal to MK, I would say, that many people here 'feel' the same way, if this is an understood feeling then it does not need to be stated, likewise if the science behind someones claims is repeatedly debunked and that individual is continually trolling the group with the same false claims don't you think that individual deserves the treatment of a troll?

Reply to
Philip Deitiker

But this is actually what Eric Stevens is saying, there aren't thousands of Americans capable of recognising a pit furnace from a photograph and therefore when I said I thought there were, I would have been lying. Quite how, I dunno. I suppose he may be sure that I know perfectly well that the aren't, and so when I say I think there are, I am deceiving people, rather than being wrong.

Inger also says it is a lie, one that she feels strongly about. She's a crackpot of course so that's not really surprising, but Eric is going down the "how to lose all credibility" by making out that there aren't plenty of Americans, etc, etc.

It's fascinating, also, that he doesn't see that he has to show that my statement is wrong, to call me a liar. All he has to do is demand proof that it is correct and that's his justification if I can't convince him.

The Squink then comes along, first cloud of misdirection is to ignore the part about "I think" so that the statement can be taken as an absolute statement of fact rather than a rhetorical question involving what I think is just common sense.

Next Squink is to alter the meaning of the statement, it is not my "lie" that we need to prove true to Eric's satisfaction, it has become a different statement about conditions in America forty years ago which quite likely makes it become impossible to test.

Inger tends not to squink, she makes even more bizarre and unsupportable claims to back up her mistakes so this one would be a "cut all context and fill the page with poorly reasoned gibberish" as we often see from the old witch these days. Eric will try to change the subject, as the squinking above demonstrates.

They both called me a liar, now I come to check. First Eric Stevens, then the mad woman both on the same paragraph. I'm trying to get Eric to state what the lie is, which I think he's done above. I don't think Inger knew what Eric was complaining about either, but in any event her explanations don't make any sense anyway so there's little point in asking her why she imagines I was lying, it will be like most of her accusations, a waste of time.

Reply to
Martyn Harrison

No "linear voids" were in evidence in the material you have been referred to several times. The melting point of Copper is 1083º C, not overly high - to weld via forging requires it to be close to that temperature. The melting point of Iron is 1535º C.

Tom, you are resorting to SPIN again. The "I know of no way..." said by a person who is intimately familiar with the subject is the same as saying "Only casting or arc welding will produce...". There is no difference. You are attempting to build yourself an escape clause to denial again - not on any facts but by the simple re-interpreting (spin) of words.

What has been said by Gary is the same as has been pointed to by a number of people - to published information and other expert studies that includes x-ray information etc. There is no real mystery about this. The only mystery has been your denials of it.

Reply to
Seppo Renfors

Yes, of course. That's what I said.

And also, we shouldn't exclude the possibility that the Native Americans were the first in the world to smelt copper, which technology may have been borrowed from them by others at a later date.


Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto

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If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people?

Reply to
Yuri Kuchinsky

But he still hasn't affirmed that he thinks it was done without aid from Old World 'advisers'. And I'm not sure what his definition of 'Indians' includes

I wonder if he knows how early the earliest smelted copper is.



Reply to
Doug Weller


Yes, Seppo, this has been my impression as well.

But of course this isn't the first time that Mr. Weller has exhibited such a tendency. There was also that old discussions about Native American horticulture, when he advocated the theories that were clearly hyper-diffusionist, and rather dismissive of Native American creativity.

I say the Native Americans were creative enough to be able to figure out how to plant a fruit tree, and how to smelt copper. But Mr. Weller has now denied both of these items.



Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=-

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A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices -=O=- William James

Reply to
Yuri Kuchinsky

How should I deal with these weird statements? I've never denied that Native Americans might have been able to smelt and cast copper, I've never advocated hyper-diffusionist theories (ah, what Yuri is talking about is statements by me and others that apples spread quickly when brought to the Americas. Yuri thinks that if someone says that the Native Americans didn't have apples until they were brought by Europeans this is somehow denying Native American creativity.

Native Americans were extremely creative. Yuri thinks that a lot of innovations I think were developed in the Americas without outside aid were in fact brought to the Americas from across the oceans. Somehow he twists this to make me the one who denies Native American creativity.

In the same way he manages to call me a New Age Creationist. He takes the truth and reverses it.


Reply to
Doug Weller

Well, you are wrong on that one for a start. I wasn't even the first to imply it.

You really are determined to not read what was written. I've spelled it out and said that you were saved from the accusation of lying by your use of the words "I'd have thought".

Quite the contrary. In fact I've invited you to provide me with the names of the thousands of persons whom you claim would have been familiar with pit furnaces in 1970. I've repeatedly asked you for reference to articles or papers written by these people.

So far you have come up with nobody and nothing except for one contemporary archaeologist whose acquaintance with pit furnaces is tenuous at best.

You seem to be living in a fantasy cloud-cuckoo land where your claims don't actually need evidence to support them.

Eric Stevens

Reply to
Eric Stevens

I don't need to relax when I chuckle. I'm already relaxed.

Eric Stevens

Reply to
Eric Stevens

Locating a URL is supporting Inger?

What does the article linked to say that might be construed as supporting Inger?

Eric Stevens

Reply to
Eric Stevens

'believe'. But you don't actually seem to know.

I doubt that many of the settlers who built pit furnaces would still be alive in 1970. Unless of course you 'believe' in Rip van Winkle.

You still seem to have the ability to write.

Funnily enough, not only did Mallery not know of many in the 1960s, neither did Conner and as far as I can tell, even now, neither do you.

I spelled out what I thought to be grossly misleading above. You have even quoted it.

Aah - but I haven't called you a liar.

In that case you are off topic for this news group.

Well, for a start, you are lying about me having previously called you a liar.

Eric Stevens

Reply to
Eric Stevens

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