Intrasource Chemical Variability and Secondary Depositional Processes

Lessons from the American Southwest
  • M. Steven Shackley
Part of the Advances in Archaeological and Museum Science book series (AAMS, volume 3)


For nearly 30 years, archaeological obsidian has been collected from geological and archaeological contexts, analyzed by a spate of methods, and offered to the scientific community as internally valid research. Virtually none of this work has been gathered in explicitly scientific ways such that the results are reliable and valid. In an attempt to provide a starting point for consideration, this chapter discusses the field and laboratory methods used in the ongoing Southwest and Northwestern Mexico Archaeological Obsidian Project dealing with arid environments, very old glass sources, relatively extreme secondary deposition, and a great range of chemical variability common in this geological context.


Archaeological Context Source Group Dome Structure River Alluvium Chemical Variability 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Steven Shackley
    • 1
  1. 1.Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology and Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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