Latest Obsidian use in Mesoamerica Stories
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass with a smooth, hard surface. Obsidian is far sharper than a surgical scalpel when fractured, making it a highly desirable raw material for crafting stone tools for almost all of human history.
The end of the classic Mayan civilization in the lowlands of Mesoamerica was likely expedited by shifting trade routes that started to bring valuable goods to coastal regions instead of the inland city-states of the ancient Native Americans.
Archaeologists have used stone tools to answer many questions about human ancestors in both the distant and near past and now they are analyzing the origin of obsidian flakes to better understand how people settled and interacted in the inhospitable Kuril Islands.
- A transitional zone between two communities containing the characteristic species of each.