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Hopewell Obsidian Studies: Behavioral Implications of Recent Sourcing and Dating Research

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

James W. Hatch
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802
Joseph W. Michels
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802
Christopher M. Stevenson
Affiliation:
Archaeological and Historical Consultants, Inc., Centre Hall, PA 16828
Barry E. Scheetz
Affiliation:
Materials Research Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802
Richard A. Geidel
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

Abstract

Specific questions regarding the antiquity of major midwestern Hopewell culture sites and their role in regional exchange systems are addressed in this paper through the dating (obsidian hydration) and compositional characterization (neutron activation analysis [NAA] and atomic absorption spectroscopy [AAS]) of obsidian artifacts. The analysis of 34 specimens from the Seip, Mound City, and Hopewell sites, Ohio, and the Naples site, Illinois, increases fivefold the number of chronometric dates available from these sites and expands the sample of compositionally identified specimens beyond those resulting from Griffin et al."s (1969) pioneering work. The resulting hydration dates support earlier estimates of the age of these contexts based on 14C or artifact seriation alone. The range of dates (78 B.C.-A.D. 347) and the compositional variety within the sample favors an expanded view of the nature of obsidian trade in the Midwest to include additional western sources, a longer episode of importation, and possible changes in the sources used through time.

Résumé

Résumé

Este ensayo de dirige a cuestiones específicas respecto a la antigüedad de los principales sitios de la cultura Hopewell del medio oeste de los Estados Unidos y sus papeles en los sistemas regionales de intercambio. Esto se hace a través del fechamiento (hidratación de obsidiana) y la caracterización química (análisis por activatión de neutrones y espectroscopía de absorción atómica) de artefactos de obsidiana. El análisis de 34 especímenes de los sitios Seip, Mound City, y Hopewell en el estado de Ohio, y del sitio Naples en el estado de Illinois, aumenta por cinco veces el número de fechas cronométricas disponibles de estos sitios, e incrementa la muestra de especímenes composicionalmente identificados más alia de los resultados del estudio seminal de Griffin et al. (1969). Las fechas de hidratación de obsidiana apoyan las estimaciones anteriores de las edades de estos contextos, basadas enfechas de radiocarbono o la seriación de artefactos únicamente. La distributión de las fechas (78 A.C.-347 D.C.) y la variedad composicional dentro de la muestra favorecen una visión amplifkada de la naturaleza del intercambio de obsidiana en el medio oeste y sugiere que yacimientos occidentales adicionales feuron incluidos en el sistema, que el episodio de importatión fué más largo, y que habrián posibles cambios de los yacimientos aprovechados con el transcurso del tiempo.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for American Archaeology 1990

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