This is a culmination of many years, institutions, and people’s time, and effort to geochmically source Alaska obsidian. This ongoing project is known as the Alaska Obsidian Database (AOD). This dissertation only uses a small fraction of the entire artifact samples represented in the AOD. There are many avenues of future research that can be conducted using this dataset.
Northern Land Use Research, the National Park Service, University of Alaska Museum of the North, and the Smithsonian Institution collaborated on this project.
Batza Tena sourced obsidian in combination with the variables of artifact length, weight, and cortex were examined using geographical information systems (GIS) software and the known location of the archaeological sites. This allowed us to observe trends in human behavior in order to understand how past Alaskan inhabitants reduced raw obsidian material over time and space.
Below is the dissertation: