Obsidian hydration dating

Obsidian breaks with a and is easily chipped into precise and delicate forms.It was very widely traded from the anciently exploited sources in Hungary, Sardinia, Lipari of Sicily, Melos in the Aegean, central and eastern Anatolia, Mexico, etc.Occupation goes back more than 30,000 years and obsidian was brought there 20,000 years ago.

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Sickle blades, pounders, and querns were used for wild or cultivated plants in the first phase.

Artifacts include a white ware, made of mixed lime and ash and used to cover baskets, producing watertight vessels.

Obsidian has been quarried and traded by western Melanesians since at least 19,000 bp, with the earliest-used and most important source being that at Talasea on CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: The absorption of water on exposed surfaces of obsidian.

In each specific environment, the surface of an obsidian artifact absorbs water at a steady rate, forming the hydration layer. If the local hydration rate is known and constant, this phenomenon can be used as an SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: obsidian hydration layer dating, obsidian dating CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of dating in which the age of an obsidian artifact is established by measuring the thickness of its (layer of water penetration) and comparing that to a known local hydration rate.

The next four levels had more solid mud-brick houses, some with plastered floors, benches, and pillars.

The economy was based on hunting of wild animals, except in the final phase when sheep and cattle were bred.

The layer of hydrated obsidian is visible when a slice of the artifact is examined under an optical microscope at a magnification of x 500. The land was poor for agriculture, but marine resources were exploited and the small center was quite wealthy.

Hydration varies geographically, and several factors such as climate, chemical environment, and physical abrasion also affect the thickness of the layer, so that most studies are locally or regionally based. There is evidence of long-distance contact with Teotihuacan before it was abandoned, like other Maya ceremonial centers, c 900 AD. The area was also important for sources of obsidian, which was exploited from the Upper Palaeolithic onwards and was extensively traded in the Neolithic.

Sheep, goats, and pigs were also cultivate and kept.

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