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Two images, Top: Etched copper tablet, Fort Taylor Mound, Osceola County; Bottom: Copper axe, Lake Jackson Mounds, Tallahassee

Native American Metal Use

While the native peoples of the Southeastern U.S. did not have sophisticated metal working technology at the time of European contact, beginning as early as 3000 B.C., they did seek out and use available nuggets of copper, gold, and silver, all which were malleable and could be heated, hammered and cut into desired shapes. These were typically fashioned into items of personal adornment, often serving as symbols of status or rank, and were traded amongst groups of Native Americans. This practice continued and expanded with the arrival of the Europeans.

Two images, Far left; Gold pendant, Cape Florida Midden Site, Dade County; Left: Gold medalion, Buck Island Site, Hillsborouh County

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