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Old 4th May 2012, 05:04 AM   #1
fearn
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Default Greenland Iron Age

Hi All,

I had a blast visiting the American Museum of Natural History last week. It's got quite a collection of ethnographic material hiding here and there (including some pieces that were used in Stone's Glossary, and I may post some of the pictures later. For example, I got a bit carried away photographing the details on the Kiribati armor and weapons. But I digress...

Here's one that was kind of unique. One of the AMNH exhibits is the Cape York meteorite, long used by the Inuit as a source of iron for tools. This was the only "iron age" in the New World. While they don't have any of these tools on display next to the meteorite, they do have a clean picture of an iron harpoon tip, which I've posted below for reference. Apparently the original is in the University of Copenhagen Geology Museum.

This was my first time visiting the AMNH, and I highly recommend it to weapons' enthusiasts, along with the Metropolitan Museum of Art a short walk away.

Best,

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Old 4th May 2012, 03:41 PM   #2
Tim Simmons
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I would love to visit. Perhaps one day. I wonder how much of this material was used. It looks worked. How pure and useful could the iron be made. What about trade. What about the North American Arctic? Did the Greenland Norse trade iron? All questions which are not answered. We know metal was worked in North America before European American expansion.
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Old 4th May 2012, 07:45 PM   #3
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According to the volunteer standing by the York Meteorite, the ground around the meteorites was littered with hammerstones from Inuit knocking bits off.

The picture below is from the Old Woman, one of the York Meteorite fragments. The volunteer said this was one where they pounded off fragments, and one can almost believe it, looking at the bright edge there.

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Old 4th May 2012, 08:07 PM   #4
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Fantastic. We need more.
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Old 5th May 2012, 08:59 PM   #5
Jens Nordlunde
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Try here http://geologi.snm.ku.dk/english/ or maybe if you write to them they will tell more.
Jens
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