Laboratory Obsidian Hydration Rates

Theory, Method, and Application
  • Christopher M. Stevenson
  • James J. Mazer
  • Barry E. Scheetz
Part of the Advances in Archaeological and Museum Science book series (AAMS, volume 3)


The development of laboratory hydration rates is considered to be the most promising approach for the chronometric dating of obsidian artifacts. The technical aspects of accelerated hydration, hydration rim measurement, and the determination of effective hydration temperature and soil relative humidity are reviewed. It is proposed that glass hydration is controlled primarily by the amount of intrinsic water contained within the unhydrated obsidian and that rates of hydration may be estimated once the concentration level is known. The ability of the intrinsic water model to produce age determinations compatible with other chronometric methods is examined with a case example from Xaltocan, Mexico.


Material Research Society Hydration Rate American Antiquity Intrinsic Water Material Research Society Symposium Proceeding 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher M. Stevenson
    • 1
  • James J. Mazer
    • 2
  • Barry E. Scheetz
    • 3
  1. 1.Archaeological Services ConsultantsColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Chemical Technology DivisionArgonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA
  3. 3.Materials Research LaboratoryPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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