California’s Obsidian Trail

 

Location: California, USA       Length: 18 min.

In the shadow of Mt. Whitney lies California’s Owens Valley, the deepest valley in North America.  Its contrasting environments include snow-capped spires, desert valleys, volcanic moonscapes, and verdant marshlands.  Archaeologists for thirty years have recorded petroglyphs, pottery, and bone, wood, and stone tools, piecing together the lifeways of the region’s original inhabitants.  With advances in analysis of obsidian (black volcanic glass), they are re-examining what ancient arrowheads, points and flakes can reveal and are learning some surprising things.

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Produced in 2016 by Cinnabar Video

Copyright 2016 by Davis Community Media; Far Western Anthropological Research Group, Inc.; and Society for California Archaeology

California Archaeology (California State Parks)

Cinnabar Video

Davis Media Access

Far Western Anthropological Research Group

The Obsidian Trail (The Archaeology Channel)

International Association for Obsidian Studies

Society for California Archaeology