Monday, March 10, 2008

Something that usually doesn't get much press History in obsidian
A long time ago - a very long time ago - obsidian was all the rage. Abundant in Oregon and relatively easy to craft, Native American cultures used the volcanic rock to make prehistoric tools: knives, spear tips and the like.

"They're razor sharp, sharper than any steel could be ground," said Dennis L. Jenkins, Ph.D., senior staff archaeologist at the University of Oregon, who presented Friday at Tamastslikt Cultural Institute.

In his lecture, entitled "Obsidian: History Through the Volcanic Glass Window," Jenkins touched on the wealth of information contained in the rock artifacts found all over the state, and how archaeologists can trace the movement of those artifacts from their original source.