Evidence of Eurasian metal alloys on the Alaskan coast in prehistory

Publication date: Available online 8 June 2016
Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
Author(s): H. Kory Cooper, Owen K. Mason, Victor Mair, John F. Hoffecker, Robert J. Speakman
Six metal and composite metal artifacts were excavated from a late prehistoric archaeological context at Cape Espenberg on the northern coast of the Seward Peninsula in Alaska. X-ray fluorescence identified two of these artifacts as smelted industrial alloys with large proportions of tin and lead. The presence of smelted alloys in a prehistoric Inuit context in northwest Alaska is demonstrated here for the first time and indicates the movement of Eurasian metal across the Bering Strait into North America before sustained contact with Europeans.