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Northwest Research Obsidian Source Reference Database



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INTRODUCTION: LAB OBSIDIAN SOURCE REFERENCE UNIVERSE
As Ward (1977) has pointed out, it is not enough to show only the similarities between characterized artifacts and geologic sources. To reliably assign geologic sources, it is also necessary to demonstrate the dissimilarities between artifacts and known sources. In theory, for correlational methods to be truly reliable, the extent of the geologic source universe with which artifacts are compared must be as extensive and complete as possible. To that end, our obsidian source universe (geochemical sources) is presented in this section.

All obsidian sources listed below, except those marked with an asterisk (*), have been analyzed at the Northwest Research Obsidian Studies Laboratory. These sources make up the obsidian source reference universe with which artifact trace element data are compared and correlated. The trace element composition of sources designated by an asterisk are currently known to us only through literature references. For additional source information and alternate source names, take the active state links to the U. S. Obsidian Source Catalog.

Maps? We've now begun to produce maps showing the generalized locations of many of the sources listed below (particularly those in the western United States. Click HERE to see what's available.

FGV Source Universe? Looking for information about the laboratory FGV (fine-grained volcanic materials and basalt) source universe? Click HERE for more details.

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SOURCE

REFERENCES or PDF

ALASKA

Batza Tena

--

Suemez Island

--

Wiki Peak (Nutzotin Mountains)

--

ARIZONA

Black Tank

--

Burro Creek

--

Cow Canyon

--

Deadman Mesa

--

Government Mountain

--

Kendrick Peak

--

O'Leary Peak/Robinson Crater

--

Partridge Creek (Round Mountain)

--

Presley Wash

--

Red Hill

--

RS Hill

--

San Francisco Peaks (Fremont-Agassiz Saddle)

--

San Francisco Peaks B

--

Sand Tanks *

Shackley 1991, 2005

Sitgreaves Mountain *

Shackley 1991, 2005

Slate Mountain (Wallace Tank)

--

South Sauceda Mountains *

Shackley 1995, 2005

Superior

--

Tank Mountains *

Shackley 1991, 2005

Topaz Basin

--

Vulture

--

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

Anahim

--

Central Coast Unknown B

--

East Creek (Vancouver Island)

--

Garibaldi

--

Ilgachuz

--

Kingcome (Central Coast Unknown A)

--

Mount Edziza (incomplete)

--

CALIFORNIA

Annadel, North Coast Ranges

--

Blue Mountain

--

Blue Spring, Warner Mountains

--

Bodie Hills

--

Borax Lake, North Coast Ranges

--

Bristol Mountains (Bagdad)

--

Buck Mountain, Warner Mountains

--

Burdell Mountain, North Coast Ranges

--

Callahan Flow, Medicine Lake Highlands

--

Casa Diablo: Prospect Ridge *

Hughes 1994

Casa Diablo: Lookout Mountain

--

Casa Diablo: Sawmill Ridge

--

Chalk Spring Junction *

Hughes 1986a

Coso: Joshua Ridge *

Hughes 1988a

Coso: Sugarloaf

--

Coso: West Cactus Peak *

Hughes 1988a

Coso: West Sugarloaf

--

Cougar Butte, Medicine Lake Highlands

--

Cowhead Lake, Warner Mountains

--

Del Prat Spring *

Hughes 1986a

East Glass Mountain, Medicine Lake Highlands *

Hughes 1986a

East Medicine Lake, Medicine Lake Highlands

--

Fish Lake Valley

--

Fish Springs

--

Franz Valley, North Coast Ranges

--

Franz Valley 2, North Coast Ranges *

Jackson 1986

Fredonyer Peak

--

GF/LIW/RS (Grasshopper Flat, Lost Iron Well, Red Switchback)

--

Glass Mountain Chemical Group, Medicine Lake Highlands (Glass Mountain, Grouse Hill, Little Glass Mountain)

--

Grimes Canyon Fused Shale (several varieties)

--

Guilicos, North Coast Ranges *

Jackson 1986, 1989

Hackberry Mountain *

Unpublished reference

Harris Flat, Warner Mountains

--

Jess Valley

--

Kelly Mountain

--

Logo

--

Los Guilicos A and B, North Coast Ranges *

Jackson 1986

Mono Craters (Panum Dome)

--

Mono Glass Mountain

--

Mt. Konocti, North Coast Ranges

--

Napa Valley, North Coast Ranges (Napa Glass Mountain)/font>

--

Obsidian Butte

--

Queen

--

Railroad Grade, Medicine Lake Highlands

--

Rainbow Mines, Warner Mountains

--

Resting Spring Range (Shoshone)

--

Saline Valley 1 (Queen Imposter)

--

Saline Valley 2

--

Saline Valley 3

--

Silver Peak

--

South Warners, Warner Mountains

--

Sugar Hill, Warner Mountains

--

Trinity, North Coast Ranges *

Jackson 1986, 1989

Tuscan: Cow Creek (Backbone Ridge-Cow Creek)/font>

--

Tuscan: Paradise Ridge 1-2

--

Tuscan: Paynes-Inks Creek

--

CENTRAL AMERICA

El Chayal, Guatemala

--

Ixtepeque, Guatemala

--

Jalapa, Guatemala

--

San Martin Jilotepeque (Pachay) Guatemala

--

COLORADO

Beaver Creek

--

Cochetopa Dome

--

Kings Canyon

--

Nathrop/Ruby Mountain

--

Silver Cliff

--

EASTER ISLAND, POLYNESIA

Orito, Easter Island

--

Rano Kau I, Easter Island

--

Rano Kau II, Easter Island

--

HAWAII

Pu'uwa'awa'a, Hawaii

--

IDAHO

American Falls

--

Bear Gulch

--

Bear Gulch 2

--

Big Southern Butte

--

Big Spring

--

Browns Bench

--

Butte Valley Group A

--

Cannonball Mountain

--

Chesterfield *

Nelson 1984

Coal Bank Spring

--

Deadhorse Ridge

--

Grassy Mountain

--

Headquarters Tachylyte (Craters of the Moon)

--

Jordan Creek

--

Kelly Canyon

--

Malad

--

Owyhee

--

Packsaddle Creek *

Bohn 2007

Partridge Creek *

Nelson 1984

Reas Pass (Yale Creek)

--

Reynolds

--

Sinker Canyon

--

South Partridge Creek *

Nelson 1984

Striker Basin Gulch

--

Timber Butte

--

Upper Fish Creek Road *

Nelson 1984

Wedge Butte

--

MEDITERRANEAN AREA

Lipari

--

Melos

--

Monte Arci, Sardinia (several varieties)

--

Palmarola

--

Pantelleria

--

MEXICO

Agua Fria, Sonora, Mexico

Shackley 2005

Lago Barreal, Sonora, Mexico

Shackley 2005

Los Vidrios, Sonora, Mexico

--

Magdalena, Jalisco, Mexico

--

Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico

--

Puerto El Parral, Baja, Mexico

--

San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

--

Sierra La Brena, Chihuahua, Mexico

Shackley 2005

Tres Virgines (Valle del Azufre) Baja, Mexico *

Shackley et al. 1996

Zinapequaro, Michoacan, Mexico

--

MONTANA

Montana Creek

--

NEVADA

Badger Creek

--

Bodie Hills (Pine Grove Hills)

--

Bog Hot Springs Unknown 1

--

Box Spring *

Hughes 1983

Box Spring Vitrophyre

--

Browns Bench

--

BS/PP/FM (Bordwell Spring, Pinto Peak, Fox Mountain)

--

Buffalo Hills (South Warners 2, Unknown B)

--

Butte Mountain *

Jones and Beck 1990

Castle Mountain *

Unpublished reference

Cave Spring Vitrophyre

--

CB Concrete

--

Cloverdale Canyon A and B

--

Crow Spring

--

Dead Camel Mountains

--

Delamar Range Vitrophyre

--

Desatoya Mountains Vitrophyre

--

Devil Peak East

--

Devil Peak West *

Shackley 1994, 1995

Double H Mountain

--

Ferguson Wash

--

Garfield Hills

--

Goldfield Hills (Stonewall Flat)

--

Hawks Valley

--

Kane Springs Wash Caldera Variety 1, NV (Delamar Mountains)

--

Kane Springs Wash Caldera Variety 2, NV (Kane Springs)

--

Lahontan Valley

--

Lahontan Valley B

--

Long Valley

--

Massacre Lake/Guano Valley

--

Meadow Valley Mountains

--

Modena

--

Montezuma Range *

Unpublished reference

Mosquito Lake A and B

--

Mt. Hicks

--

Mt. Majuba

--

Oak Spring Butte (Split Ridge/Pahute Mesa, Tubb Spring)

--

Obsidian Butte, NV, Variety 1

--

Obsidian Butte, NV, Variety 2 (Airfield Canyon) (Obsidian Butte Variety H-3, Sarcobatus Flat A)

--

Obsidian Butte, NV, Variety 3 (Obsidian Butte) (Obsidian Butte Variety H-5, Sarcobatus Flat B)

--

Obsidian Butte, NV, Variety 4 (Obsidian Butte) (Obsidian Butte Variety H-5, Sarcobatus Flat B)

--

Obsidian Butte, NV, Variety 5 (Unknown C)

--

Oreana

--

Pancake Mountain *

Unpublished reference

Paradise Valley

--

Pierson Summit

--

Pink Butte

--

Robinson Summit

--

Shoshone Mountain (Fortymile/Topopah/Yucca Wash)

--

Silver Peak

--

Soldier Creek

--

South Kawich Range (Apache Tear Canyon)

--

South Pahroc

--

Surveyor Spring

--

Sutro Springs

--

Tempiute Mountain (Butte Valley Unknown B)

--

White Rock Canyon *

Hughes 1983

NEW MEXICO

Antelope Wells *

Baugh and Nelson 1987; Hughes 1988b; Shackley 1995, 2005

Banco Bonito, Valles Caldera

--

Bear Springs Peak

--

Bearhead Peak *

Baugh and Nelson 1987

Cerro del Medio, Valles Caldera

--

Grants Ridge, Mt. Taylor Volcanic Field

--

Gwynn and Ewe Canyons *

Baugh and Nelson 1987; Hughes 1988b; Shackley 1995, 2005

Horace Mesa, Mt. Taylor Volcanic Field

--

McDaniel Tank

--

Mule Creek

--

No Agua Peaks (North Hill)

--

Obsidian Ridge, Jemez Mountains

--

Polvadera Peak (El Rechuelos), Jemez Mountains

--

Red Hill *

Baugh and Nelson 1987; Hughes 1988b; Shackley 1995, 2005

Rio Grande Gravels *

Church 2000

OREGON

Alkali Valley Vitrophyre

--

Bald Butte

Also see Carlon (Bald Butte)

Barren Valley

--

Bear Creek (Malheur National Forest)

--

Beatys Butte

--

Beatys Butte B

--

Beaver Mountain (Dooley Mountain)

--

Big Bend (Malheur National Forest)

--

Big Obsidian Flow (Big Obsidian Flow, Buried Obsidian Flow)

--

Big Stick

--

Blowfly Spring (Malheur National Forest)

--

Brooks Canyon

--

Browder Ridge Vitrophyre

--

Buck Spring

--

Buena Vista Overlook

--

Bull Lake

--

Burns (Burns Butte)

--

Burnt Mountain

--

Butte Creek

--

Carlon (Bald Butte)

--

Carver Flow

--

Chickahominy

--

China Hat

--

China Lake

--

Clackamas River

--

Coglan Buttes

--

Cold Point

--

Cougar Mountain

--

Coyote Wells

--

Coyote Wells East

--

Crazy Creek (Malheur National Forest)

--

Crooked Creek (Malheur National Forest)

--

Curtis Creek (Indian Grade Spring Unknown 2)

--

Dant

--

Deep Canyon Vitrophyre

--

Deer Creek

--

Delintment Lake

--

Devil Point

--

Devils Overlook

--

Diatomite Reservoir

--

Dog Hill

--

Double O

--

Drews Creek/Butcher Flat

--

Duncan Creek

--

East Butte

--

East Lake Fissure, Newberry Caldera

--

Ebell Creek, Dooley Mountain

--

Eldorado (Whitman National Forest)

--

Glass Buttes 1 (Glass Buttes)

--

Glass Buttes 2

--

Glass Buttes 3

--

Glass Buttes 4

--

Glass Buttes 5

--

Glass Buttes 6

--

Glass Buttes 7

--

Glass Buttes 8

--

Glass Buttes 9

--

Grassy Mountain

--

Gregory Creek

--

Guyer Creek

--

Hager Mountain

--

Hart Mountain

--

Hawks Valley

--

Horse Mountain

--

Horse Mountain B

--

Hurley Spring

--

Indian Creek (Dooley Mountain)

--

Indian Creek Buttes

--

Indian Creek Buttes B

--

Inman Creek A

--

Inman Creek B

--

Jordan Creek

--

Juniper Spring Hill

--

Klamath Marsh 1

--

Klamath Marsh 2

--

Lemiti Creek

--

Little Garden

--

Little Obsidian Flow, Newberry Volcano

--

Logan Valley

--

Lowell Vitrophyre

--

Malheur Gap

--

Massacre Lake/Guano Valley

--

McComb Butte

--

McComb Butte Impostor

--

McKay Butte, Newberry Volcano

--

Mud Ridge

--

Mutton Mountains

--

New Era

--

Newberry Volcano (Central Pumice Cone Flow, East Lake Flows, Game Hut Flow, Interlake Flow)

--

Obsidian Cliffs

--

Owyhee

--

Parsnip Creek

--

Paulina Peak, Newberry Volcano

--

Poison Creek (Malheur National Forest)

--

Quartz Mountain, Newberry Volcano

--

Rhododendron Ridge

--

Riley

--

Rimrock Spring

--

Rock Mesa

--

Round Top Butte

--

Silver Lake/Sycan Marsh

--

Skull Springs

--

Sourdough Mountain

--

South Creek

--

South Paulina Peak

--

South Sister Dome Chain

--

Spodue Mountain

--

Squaw Mountain

--

Squaw Ridge

--

Surveyor Spring

--

Sutton Mountains

--

Tank Creek

--

Tough Butte

--

Tucker Hill

--

Tule Spring (Indian Grade Spring Unknown 1)

--

Tumalo Creek

--

Upper Gap Lake

--

Van Gulch (Malheur National Forest)

--

Variety 5

--

Venator

--

Wagontire

--

West McKay (Unknown X)

--

Whitehorse

--

Whitewater Ridge (Malheur National Forest)

--

Wildcat Basin

--

Wildcat Creek

--

Witham Creek

--

Wolf Creek (Malheur National Forest)

--

Yreka Butte

--

PHILIPPINES

Barangay Caunayan (Luzon)

--

Barangay Manaol (Luzon)

--

Huluga (Mindanao)

--

Nagcarlan (Luzon)

--

Taal (Luzon)

--

SOUTH DAKOTA

Black Hills

--

TEXAS

Rio Grande Gravels *

--

UTAH

Black Mountain

--

Black Rock Area

--

Browns Bench

--

Ferguson Wash

--

Marysvale

--

Modena

--

Pumice Hole Mine

--

Pumice Hole Mine B

--

Pyramid Peak Vitrophyre

--

Topaz Mountain

--

White Mountain

--

Wild Horse Canyon

--

Wildcat Hills

--

WASHINGTON

Agnes Creek A

--

Agnes Creek B

--

Bickleton Ridge

--

Cleman Mountain Tachylyte

--

Copper Ridge Variety A

--

Copper Ridge Variety B

--

Copper Ridge Variety C

--

Copper Ridge Variety D

--

Elk Pass

--

Hosko A (Brooks Memorial State Park)

--

Hosko B (Brooks Memorial State Park)

--

Indian Rock (Unknown Variety A)

--

Nasty Creek (Rocky Coulee) Tachylyte

--

Parke Creek Tachylyte

--

Satus Creek

--

Stray Gulch Tachylyte

--

Yakima

Unpublished reference

WYOMING

Cougar Creek, Yellowstone National Park

XRF Results (PDF 78K)

Crescent H *

Bohn 2007

Grassy Lake Reservoir

--

Obsidian Cliff, Yellowstone National Park

XRF Results (PDF 78K)

Park Point, Yellowstone National Park *

Bohn 2007

Tanker Curve, Yellowstone National Park

XRF Results (PDF 78K)

Teton Pass

--


REFERENCES

Baugh, Timothy G. and Fred W. Nelson. 1987. New Mexico Obsidian Sources and Exchange on the Southern Plains. Journal of Field Archaeology 14:313-329.

Bohn, Allison D. 2007. Scattered Glass: Obsidian Artifact Provenance Patterns in Northwestern Wyoming. Unpublished Masterís Thesis, Department of Anthropology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Church, Tim. 2000. Distribution and Sources of Obsidian in the Rio Grande Gravels of New Mexico. Geoarchaeology 15:649-678.

Haarklau, Lynn, Lynn Johnson, David L. Wagner, Richard E. Hughes, Craig E. Skinner, Jennifer J. Thatcher, and Keith Myhrer. 2005. Fingerprints in the Great Basin: The Nellis Air Force Base Regional Sourcing Study. Report prepared for Nellis Air Force Base by Prewitt and Associates, Inc., Austin, Texas.

Hughes, Richard E. 1983. X-Ray Fluorescence Characterization of Obsidian. In The Archaeology of Monitor Valley: 2. Gatecliff Shelter, by David Hurst Thomas, pp. 401-408. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 59(I).

Hughes, Richard E. 1986. Diachronic Variability in Obsidian Procurement Patterns in Northeastern California and Southcentral Oregon. University of California Publications in Anthropology 17, Berkeley, California.

Hughes, Richard E. 1988a. The Coso Volcanic Field Reexamined: Implications for Obsidian Sourcing and Hydration Dating Research. Geoarchaeology 3:253-265.

Hughes, Richard E. 1988b. Archaeological Significance of Geochemical Contrasts Among Southwestern New Mexico Obsidians. Texas Journal of Science 40:297-308.

Hughes, Richard E. 1994. Intrasource Chemical Variability of Artefact-Quality Obsidians from the Casa Diablo Area, California. Journal of Archaeological Science 21:263-271.

Jackson, Thomas L. 1986. Late Prehistoric Exchange in Central California. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.

Jackson, Thomas L. 1989. Late Prehistoric Obsidian Production and Exchange in the North Coast Ranges, California. In Current Directions in California Obsidian Studies, edited by Richard E. Hughes, pp. 79-94. Contributions of the University of California Archaeological Research Facility No. 48, Berkeley, California.

Jones, George T. and Charlotte Beck. 1990. An Obsidian Hydration Chronology of Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene Surface Assemblages from Butte Valley, Nevada. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 12(1):84-100.

Nelson, Fred W. 1984. X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis of Some Western North American American Obsidians. In Obsidian Studies in the Great Basin, edited by Richard E. Hughes, pp.27-62. Contributions of the University of California Archaeological Research Facility No. 45, Berkeley, California.

Shackley, M. Steven. 1991. Tank Mountains: A Newly Discovered Archaeological Obsidian Source in East-Central Yuma County, Arizona. Kiva 57:17-25.

Shackley, M. Steven. 1994. Intersource and Intrasource Geochemical Variability in Two Newly Discovered Archaeological Obsidian Sources in the Southern Great Basin. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 16:118-129.

Shackley, M. Steven. 1995. Sources of Archaeological Obsidian in the Greater American Southwest: An Update and Quantitative Analysis. American Antiquity 60:531-551.

Shackley, M. Steven. 2005. Obsidian: Geology and Archaeology in the North American Southwest. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona. Shackley, M. Steven, Justin R. Hyland, and Maria de la Luz Gutierrez M. 1996. Mass Production and Procurement at Valle del Azulfre: A Unique Archaeological Obsidian Source in Baja California Sur. American Antiquity 61:718-731.

Ward, Graeme. 1977. On the Ease of 'Sourcing' Artefacts and the difficulty of 'Knowing" Prehistory. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 20:188-194.

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Last Updated: 08/01/2014
Northwest Research Obsidian Studies Laboratory