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Identification of the Sources of Hopewellian Obsidian in the Middle West

  • James B. Griffin (a1), A. A. Gordus (a1) and G. A. Wright (a1)

One hundred and twenty years ago, the first obsidian implements were reported from Hopewellian mounds by Squier and Davis (1848). Since that time, a number of regions have been suggested as the source area: Alaska, the Pacific Coast, Yellowstone National Park, New Mexico, and central Mexico. Neutron activation analysis of the elemental composition of Hopewellian obsidian indicates two separate element groups. One of these, the 150 Group, has its source at Obsidian Cliff in Yellowstone. The second, the 90 Group, is also located in Yellowstone, but the exact flow has not yet been discovered.

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J. R. Cann and C. Renfrew 1964 The Characterization of Obsidian and its Application to the Mediterranean Region. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, Vol. 30, pp. 11133. London.

A. A. Gordus , G. A. Wright , and J. B. Griffin 1968 Characterization of Obsidian Sources by Neutron Activation Analysis. Science, Vol. 161, pp. 38284. Washington.

G. A. Parks and T. T. Tieh 1966 Identifying the Geographical Source of Artifact Obsidian. Nature, Vol. 211, No. 5046, pp. 28990. London.

G Renfrew , J. R. Cann , and J. E. Dixon 1965 Obsidian in the Aegean. Annual of the British School of Archaeology at Athens, Vol. 60, p. 225. London.

G Renfrew , J. R. Cann , and J. E. Dixon 1966 Obsidian and Early Culture Contact in the Near East. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, Vol. 32, pp. 3072. London.

M. Spence and J. Parsons 1967 Prehispanic Obsidian Mines in Southern Hidalgo. American Antiquity, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 542–3. Salt Lake City.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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