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More than a pretty face? Exploring the allure of obsidian valuables from Papua New Guinea

Author(s): Robin Torrence

Year: 2015

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Brilliant, shiny, translucent, black. On the surface, everything made from obsidian is inherently attractive. So why are some obsidian artifacts more highly valued than others? Using the example of obsidian use in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea, properties that go beyond physical attributes are explored as potential factors in the creation of valuables: e.g., exoticism; ownership of resources; social links; symbolism; performance; staged production; specialist makers.

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More than a pretty face? Exploring the allure of obsidian valuables from Papua New Guinea. Robin Torrence. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394992)


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min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America