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Saturday Lecture Series: Mining and Lead Poisoning 8000 Years Ago

by coldwarrior ( 31 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Climate, Open thread, saturday lecture series, Science at June 29th, 2013 - 8:00 am

Saturday Lecture Series: Lead Poisoning 8000 Years Ago

Good morning all! Today we are going to get into the world of ancient mining. It appears that humans were mining copper in upper Michigan 8000 years ago, 5000 earlier than other parts of the world

 

Humans polluted with lead 8,000 years ago

Reconstructions of metal pollution from other parts of the world, such as Asia, Europe, and South America, only provide evidence for lead pollution during the last 3,000 years. (Credit: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia Commons)

U. PITTSBURGH (US) — The oldest evidence of lead pollution caused by humans has been discovered in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The discovery suggests metal pollution from mining and other human activities appeared far earlier in North America than in Europe, Asia, and South America.

“Humanity’s environmental legacy spans thousands of years, back to times traditionally associated with hunter-gatherers,” says David Pompeani, a PhD candidate in the geology and planetary science department at the University of Pittsburgh.

“Our records indicate that the influence of early Native Americans on the environment can be detected using lake sediments. These findings have important implications for interpreting both the archeological record and environmental history of the upper Great Lakes.”

For the study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, researchers examined Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula because it is the largest source of pure native copper in North America. Early surveys of the region in the 1800s identified prehistoric human mining activity in the form of tools, including hammerstones, ladders, and pit mines.

The team investigated the timing, location, and magnitude of ancient copper mining pollution. Sediments collected in June 2010 from three lakes located near ancient mine pits. They analyzed the concentration of lead, titanium, magnesium, iron, and organic matter in the collected sediment cores—finding distinct decade- to century-scale increases in lead pollution preserved from thousands of years ago.

“These data suggest that measurable levels of lead were emitted by preagricultural societies mining copper on Keweenaw Peninsula starting as early as 8,000 years ago,” Pompeani says. “Collectively, these records have confirmed, for the first time, that prehistoric pollution from the Michigan Copper Districts can be detected in the sediments found in nearby lakes.”

By contrast, reconstructions of metal pollution from other parts of the world, such as Asia, Europe, and South America, only provide evidence for lead pollution during the last 3,000 years. “We’re hopeful that our work can be used in the future to better understand past environmental changes,” says Mark Abbott, associate professor of paleoclimatology.

The team is currently investigating places near other prehistoric copper mines surrounding Lake Superior.

The work was funded by a Henry Leighton Memorial Fund grant, the Geological Society of America, and the National Science Foundation.

Source: University of Pittsburgh

Straight from the Source

Read the original study

DOI: 10.1021/es304499c

Minoans were there too? It gets pretty interesting. Was this copper traded elsewhere?

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31 Responses to “Saturday Lecture Series: Mining and Lead Poisoning 8000 Years Ago”
( jump to bottom )

  1. 1 | June 29, 2013 8:43 am

    Yet mining and smelting would produce greehouse gases and Global Warmining which has never happened until recent times! :shock: //////////////////////


  2. 2 | June 29, 2013 8:44 am

    The Newberry tablet is bogus.


  3. 3 | June 29, 2013 9:10 am

    @ AZOlddog:
    Mankind is a cancer on the planet and should be exterminated!!!11ty


  4. RIX
    4 | June 29, 2013 9:10 am

    What is wrong with this study is that Native
    Americns caused the ancient pollution.
    That’s not true, it was ancient creepy ass
    crackahs!
    Only creepy ass crackahs would do this.
    They do everything.


  5. coldwarrior
    5 | June 29, 2013 9:16 am

    Kareepy azzed Krakahz!

    werd


  6. 6 | June 29, 2013 9:28 am

    @ RIX:
    Cracker isn’t a racial term, either. It’s just the way “educated” people talk. Really. They also use the N-word a lot, but that’s OK, too. It’s not like they’re Paula Deen after all… :roll:


  7. coldwarrior
    7 | June 29, 2013 9:35 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    flashed ‘kareepy azzed krakahz’ and ‘original bitter clinger’ gang signs.

    :lol:


  8. RIX
    8 | June 29, 2013 9:38 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ RIX:
    Cracker isn’t a racial term, either. It’s just the way “educated” people talk. Really. They also use the N-word a lot, but that’s OK, too. It’s not like they’re Paula Deen after all…

    Actually “Crackah” is a term of endearment in the
    Hood for White Folk.
    As in, ” I bust a cap in dat Crackahs ass!”
    Translated, “My Caucasion friend Steve & I
    stopped for beer & pizza after work.”


  9. coldwarrior
    9 | June 29, 2013 9:45 am

    RIX wrote:

    Actually “Crackah” is a term of endearment in the
    Hood for White Folk.
    As in, ” I bust a cap in dat Crackahs ass!”
    Translated, “My Caucasion friend Steve & I
    stopped for beer & pizza after work.”

    wow! i didnt know you were so hip and with it!

    :lol:


  10. RIX
    10 | June 29, 2013 9:48 am

    coldwarrior wrote:

    RIX wrote:

    Actually “Crackah” is a term of endearment in the
    Hood for White Folk.
    As in, ” I bust a cap in dat Crackahs ass!”
    Translated, “My Caucasion friend Steve & I
    stopped for beer & pizza after work.”

    wow! i didnt know you were so hip and with it!

    I speak jive!


  11. coldwarrior
    11 | June 29, 2013 9:50 am

    @ RIX:

    clearly, you are fluent!


  12. RIX
    12 | June 29, 2013 9:54 am

    coldwarrior wrote:

    @ RIX:

    clearly, you are fluent!

    Word up, I’m jiggy wid it.


  13. 13 | June 29, 2013 9:58 am

    @ RIX:
    “Ima kill me a cracka” is intended to convey peaceful intent, too. You have to understand the culture.


  14. 14 | June 29, 2013 10:02 am

    Yo Crackah, get out my way!

    Any reply at that point is “Raycist”! :)


  15. RIX
    15 | June 29, 2013 10:22 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ RIX:
    “Ima kill me a cracka” is intended to convey peaceful intent, too. You have to understand the culture.

    Exactly. it is just a manner of speaking
    If you question, you are culturally
    insensitive.
    You know, a crackah.


  16. RIX
    16 | June 29, 2013 10:24 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ RIX:
    “Ima kill me a cracka” is intended to convey peaceful intent, too. You have to understand the culture.

    Right, it actually translates to, “I find that
    Caucasian fellow to be most delightful.”


  17. RIX
    17 | June 29, 2013 10:31 am

    Off to the train station to make a pick up.
    Amma kill cracha dat git my way!


  18. 18 | June 29, 2013 10:51 am

    Consider my (14) and substitute N***** for Crackah. Comment please.


  19. 19 | June 29, 2013 11:07 am

    @ AZOlddog:
    RAAAAACIST!!!11ty unless you’re black, of course. Black people are allowed to use that word.


  20. 20 | June 29, 2013 11:19 am

    Of course, there are lots of areas across the world where things like lead, arsenic and acid contamination of ground water, lakes and soil, are completely just natural.


  21. waldensianspirit
    21 | June 29, 2013 11:25 am

    @ Mike C.:
    Some places bubble oil; on land and in the oceans

    And somewhere I read there was a natural nuclear reactor…


  22. waldensianspirit
  23. Buffalobob
    23 | June 29, 2013 11:41 am

    So the Indians Native Americans are responsible for lead poising of babies and they introduced the cultivation of tobacco. A smart tort lawyer could find their way nto the deep casino money pockets.


  24. RIX
    24 | June 29, 2013 11:57 am

    Buffalobob wrote:

    So the Indians Native Americans are responsible for lead poising of babies and they introduced the cultivation of tobacco. A smart tort lawyer could find their way nto the deep casino money pockets.

    Lawd Amighty, I am trying so hard to find some
    Native American blood in me.
    I want a piece of Foxwoods Casino.


  25. RIX
    25 | June 29, 2013 12:09 pm

    Anderson Cooper ✔ @andersoncooper

    Why does #AlecBaldwin get a pass when
    he uses gay slurs? If a conservative talked of beating up a “queen” they would be vilified.
    2:39 PM -- 28 Jun 2013

    Good point ,Paula Deen admits to using the N word
    over 20 years ago & gets crucified.
    Alec Baldwin recently called a photographer a coon &
    very recently called a male reporter a Queen while threatening
    him & no career problems at all.
    But Anderson Cooper is the guy who dubbed the Tea Party,
    Tea Baggers, so…………………….


  26. 26 | June 29, 2013 12:10 pm

    waldensianspirit wrote:

    @ Mike C.:
    Some places bubble oil; on land and in the oceans
    And somewhere I read there was a natural nuclear reactor

    Sveral. In what is now Gabon.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_nuclear_fission_reactor

    That’s not physically possible any more.


  27. RIX
    27 | June 29, 2013 12:20 pm

    As President Obama and his family continue their tour of Africa, the White House put out a Fact Sheet entitled “U.S. Support for Strengthening Democratic Institutions, Rule of Law, and Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa.” One of the first items highlighted by the White House is a $53 million program in Kenya that helps young people “obtain National identification cards, a prerequisite to voter registration.”

    HT Weekly Standard.
    Huh? ID’s in Kenya, but voter suppression to
    require them here?


  28. 28 | June 29, 2013 12:34 pm

    New thread.


  29. waldensianspirit
    29 | June 29, 2013 12:55 pm

    @ RIX:
    Sure! They don’t want any illegal creepy assed cracka voting in Kenya!


  30. RIX
    30 | June 29, 2013 1:00 pm

    waldensianspirit wrote:

    @ RIX:
    Sure! They don’t want any illegal creepy assed cracka voting in Kenya!

    It’s a culture thang!


  31. The Osprey
    31 | June 29, 2013 5:11 pm

    coldwarrior wrote:

    @ Iron Fist:

    flashed ‘kareepy azzed krakahz’ and ‘original bitter clinger’ gang signs.

    Kak means sh** in Afrikaans.

    CAC would be a better acronym for the Creepy Assed Crackers gang. :lol:


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