The Value and Availability of Quality Obsidian at Antelope Creek

Author(s): Kaitlyn Cometa; Allen Denoyer

Year: 2017


Antelope Creek is a part of the important larger obsidian source at Mule Creek in Southwestern New Mexico. Antelope Creek contains an abundance of both poor and good quality obsidian that appears to have developed from the same volcanic event. In this experiment, a large sample of Antelope Creek obsidian was collected and tested for quality through the process of flintknapping. Results indicate that knappers can readily tell a poor quality nodule from a good quality nodule from this source by the appearance of the cortex. The good quality, valuable obsidian nodules have a matte brown cortex whereas the cortex of the poor quality obsidian nodules appears polished and black. We also examine the formation processes and chemical make-up of these nodules that could have resulted in varying cortex properties as well as varying knapping quality and the ability to drive valuable flakes from a core.

Cite this Record

The Value and Availability of Quality Obsidian at Antelope Creek. Kaitlyn Cometa, Allen Denoyer. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431505)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15611