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The 'Copper Country' in the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Upper Peninusula of Michigan has been a source of metal for a very long time. From Wikipedia (emphasis mine) Native Americans were the first to mine and work the copper of Lake Superior and the Keweenaw Peninsula of northern Michigan between 5000 BCE and 1200 BCE. The natives used this copper to ...


All these answers seem to have overlooked the obvious. To make bronze, you need to mix copper and tin. There are few tin deposits in North America (outside of Alaska), and most of them are not workable without at least 19th century mining technology. So no tin, no bronze. No bronze, probably no easy path to ironworking.

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