WHS significantly connected with the use of and/or trade in Obsidian. Excluding sites whose only connection is via minor discoveries of small quantities of the stone Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed by the rapid cooling of viscous lava either at the "edges of a felsic lava flow or volcanic dome, or when lava cools during sudden contact with water or air". It "has been used across history to make weapons, implements, tools ornaments and mirrors. Because of its conchoidal fracture (smooth curved surfaces and sharp edges) the sharpest stone artifacts were fashioned from" it. Occurrences are Worldwide ("significant deposits .......in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Iceland, Russia, New Zealand, Japan, and Kenya") but are very localised and its use has thereby been limited to cultures developing close to and/or trading with such locations.

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Quirigua "Quiriqua had became the capital of an autonomous and prosperous state : the extraction of jade and obsidian in the upper valley of the Rio Motagua, which was tightly controlled, gave rise to a profitable goods trade with the coastal ports of the Caribbean" (AB eval)
Rapa Nui "The Rapa Nui people had a Stone Age culture and made extensive use of local stone .... Obsidian, a volcanic glass with sharp edges used for sharp-edged implements such as Mataa and for the black pupils of the eyes of the moai." (Wiki). There were 4 sites of Obsidian mining on the island all of which are within the nominated area - see link
Çatalhöyük "Obsidian represented the main raw material with which the inhabitants of Çatalhöyük made their flaked stone tools, despite the fact that the nearest sources of this material lay some 190 km away....The vast majority of the obsidian found at Çatalhöyük came from two different volcanoes in southern Cappadocia: Göllü Dağ and Nenezi Dağ" (Nomin file)


Do you know of another WHS we could connect to Obsidian?

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A connection should:

  1. Not be "self evident"
  2. Link at least 3 different sites
  3. Not duplicate or merely subdivide the "Category" assignment already identified on this site.
  4. Add some knowledge or insight (whether significant or trivial!) about WHS for the users of this site
  5. Be explained, with reference to a source