Conference looks at prehistoric mining

HOUGHTON – There is an endless supply of historical documentation regarding the production of copper and mining in the Lake Superior copper district. But there is little beyond archaeological evidence about those prehistoric miners who first opened up the region to mining over 6,000 years ago.

The second annual Copper and Culture Conference can shed some light on those ancient peoples, their culture and their mining methods. The two-day event will take place on August 20-21, 2016, at the Houghton High School auditorium in Houghton and will focus on prehistoric metal working the Lake Superior region.

Presenters will include experts in a broad range of disciplines, studies and fields, as well as interested amateurs.

Robert Wheeler, president of the Copper Country Ancient Sites Conservancy (CCASC), which is hosting the event, is excited for this second conference.

“The overall reason for the conference is to educate the interested public, but that the same time, we’re bringing together archaeologists, and geologists, and Native Americans, and collectors,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler said members of the varied fields of studies do not often agree on many aspects, but through the conference, they can come together in an effort to learn where they can get along and agree.

“The thing is, we’re all interested in the same thing, we’re just coming at it from different angles, which is a good thing. It gives you a better view overall, as long as you can respect the other guy’s interest and what he needs out of it before you can accept your worth,” Wheeler said.

The two-day event will host speakers from a broad range of fields. Saturday’s schedule runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday’s schedule runs from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is $15 for one day or $25 for both. High school students pay $5 per day, and kids below high school age are free.

A meal will be served both days, but is not included in the admission. A silent auction will also take place. Donations of books or artifacts, or items of interest to discuss are encouraged.

For more information, or to pre-register, visit coppercountryancientsitesconservancy.com.