Revision of Hopewellian trading patterns in Midwestern North America based on mineralogical sourcing

R. E. Hughes, T. E. Berres, D. M. Moore, K. B. Farnsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traditional exchange models purport that all Hopewell-style platform pipes of flint clay were quarried and crafted in southern Ohio by Native Americans from a local kaolinitic flint clay, and that those found in the Havana Hopewell region of western Illinois were transported from southern Ohio along an Ohio River trade network. However, the results of this study show that berthierine-rich flint clay from northwestern Illinois was the only source for pipestone artifacts of the Havana Hopewell region. We base this on (1) X-ray diffraction analysis of quickly made smears, (2) spatiotemporal distribution of artifacts in the Sterling-Rock Falls, Illinois area, and (3) petrographic, X-ray fluorescence, Mössbauer, and SEM/EDX analyses. This understanding of the source of this material made it possible to visually identify the source of large numbers of curated artifacts as having been made of material from the Sterling-Rock Falls area. This discovery has implications for understanding cultural and material exchange among Hopewellian societies. Also, it is the first report of berthierine flint clay and of flint clay that formed before the evolution of terrestrial plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-729
Number of pages21
JournalGeoarchaeology - An International Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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