Yea it's a fascinating story, I guess I'm just into this kind of stuff.
We until recently spent most summers up in that area (my wifes family was originally from Canada/Michigan before moving to Florida), and I'm originally from Canada (near that area, and my dad was interested in this kind of stuff just like me). The locals know the history about the copper mines but don't talk about it much (not in any history books, so it didn't happen). They say 1.5 billion pounds of copper we stolen by the Minoans starting in around 4000bc (proven by carbon dating of mine timbers in some of the 10,000 mines on the island. They now have proven that it was the Minoans who mined it, they found and authenticated clay tablets found in the area with Minoan writing on them and dated and authenticated to around that time. I'm sure the US government is trying to track them down to pay back taxes on the copper (LOL).
They estimate it took at least 5000 workers several thousand years to mine and transport the copper (by many hundreds or maybe thousands of sailing ships), where it was traded all over the world (including Europe and asia). It's been scientifically proven that a very large percentage of the copper used in the bronze age (worldwide) was from Michigan (proven by chemical analysis).
Here is a replica of one of their small ships.
They think the Minoans used large sailing ships as big as 120ft long, and they are pretty sure those ships were able to sail up wind, there had to be thousands of these ships traveling the entire world in order to account for all the copper (BTW in those days Copper was much more valuable than gold). Some of those ships were 3 times the size of Christopher Columbus's biggest ship (the Santa Maria). I've sailed past replicas of Christopher Columbus's ships, they are tiny. The only Minoan ship ever found had several tons of copper ingots (from Michigan (proven by chemical analysis)) on board (I believe found in the Mediterranean), along with tons of trading goods (spices, etc).
All this pre-dates the Egyptian empire by many thousands of years.
They were wiped out by a volcano (biggest eruption in history) and the sunami that followed, then the remaining people were slaughtered by the Greeks.
We can only assume given the value of copper at the time (more valuable than gold), where and how they were getting their copper from was a closely guarded state secret by their society, and died with them. And their knowledge of ship building and navigation would also be held secret because of it's value to their society.
They say the Minoans were not Greeks, they were more related to the Iranians (DNA analysis). And those same DNA markers are in many native American tribes in North America now.
It's in my opinion one of the most fascinating things in history (especially their mariner and sailing knowledge), and a perfect example of how wrong our history books are and what we have been taught all of our lives, and proves that tri power propulsion (just like the Adventure Island boats have) actually works (OK that might be a stretch).
Actually there was a show all about this on the History Channel last year called "great lakes copper heist" it originally aired on Jan 14, 2013 as part of the tv series America Unearthed. For those with on demand, I'm sure it's easy to find.
fun stuff kind of Hobie related because they were sailers, and had boats with both paddles and sails, and used them both together quite effectively to navigate all the worlds oceans (kind of like the Adventure boats) 6000 years ago.
Its a fun story, but that's all it is , a story that pretty un provable. They say that after the Minoans stopped coming to buy their copper (the Minoans were were destroyed when Atlantis sunk), the miners relocated further south to the Madison wi area (where I spent most of my life) and became the mound builders. They now own a casino in Wisconsin dells (lol). Actually devils lake state park is one of my favorite places ( a bunch of effigy mounds are there), like I said it's just a fun story and one of the things we wunder about.