Archaeologists can extract data from obsidian and use it to discuss prehistoric trade, traditions, and life. Join us to learn the multi-faceted story of obsidian, past and present.
Obsidian, a form of volcanic glass, has many uses. Historically, it was procured and then traded at great distances.
Found around the globe, obsidian is often thought of as just one of the many flaked stone materials of past cultures.
To those who knap, obsidian is a predictable material that offers the sharpest edge possible and results in a uniquely beautiful stone tool.
Other skilled craftspeople cut and polish the lustrous volcanic glass into great works of art. Obsidian continues to be useful in modern life, for instance, making exceedingly sharp surgical knives!
However, this volcanic glass holds a very different meaning to archaeologists, who can extract data from obsidian – like no other source – and then use it to discuss prehistoric trade, traditions, and life.
In North America, obsidian was procured and then traded at great distances. Join us as presenter, Mike Kraus, MA, Term Archaeologist at the BLM's Royal Gorge Field Office, discusses the multi-faceted story of obsidian, past and present.