Obsidian can be used for many things. It is primarily used in pyrotechnics, blades and gemstone jewellery. As a material, it is primarily used for manufacturing tools such as projectile points and blades for knives. It can also be rolled into thin sheets to create the ancient Egyptian practice of mummification. Though obsidian has been a favorite material of early humans because it was readily available nearby, its most common use was in fire-starting technology.
What is obsidian used for in pyrotechnics?
Obsidian (volcanic glass) is a very hard and brittle material. With pyrotechnics, it can be used to create sparks, which shoot off into the air or create bangs or flashes of light. It is also commonly used in arrowheads and blades used to hack animals. Obsidian is also used as an abrasive. It was first discovered in Arkansas, U.S.
What is obsidian used for in gemstone jewellery?
Some of the properties of obsidian that make it so desirable as a gemstone are its durability, fire resistance and sharp luster. It is first found in the central U.S., with Missouri its most common location, where some large obsidian deposits are located. Obsidian is commonly found in volcanic regions.
What is obsidian used for in blades?
Obsidian is extremely hard and durable, making it ideal to be used in blades. There are a number of ways that it can be put to use as a blade. First and most obviously, it can be used as the sharpened edge of an arrowhead or a knife. It can also be used to create points for spears. Obsidian is sometimes used to create knives, especially in the Ceremonial Bowry culture of Kenya.
What obsidian is used for in projectile points?
In Neolithic times, humans started using more than one arrow to hunt animals. In many cases, the larger animals required more than one arrow shot to kill. Some tribes began producing large numbers of arrowheads for use in hunting and other activities in order to be able to get all of these arrows into the same target area.
What is obsidian?
Obsidian is a type of naturally occurring volcanic glass, often black in color. Obsidian is formed when molten rock cools extremely rapidly to less than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (538 degrees Celsius), forming silica-rich rhyolite glass. This rapid cooling causes the silica to polymerize into microscopic crystals, which forma a natural sharp edge on the cooled lava flow.
How common is obsidian?
Obsidian is found in many regions of the world, but it is particularly abundant in the central United States and Canada. It also occurs naturally in most of Africa and Japan. Obsidian from Australia has been traded for centuries as well as obsidian from New Zealand and parts of North America. The volcanic glass can be used to make a wide variety of tools and weapons. A knife blade made from obsidian is sharper than just about any other type of stone. It is used for starting fires and for religious purposes as well.
How was obsidian used in the past?
Obsidian was popular in the earliest days of human occupation of North America. Clay pots were often made by forming a lump of clay into a ball, then striking it with a piece of obsidian. A spider-web crack formed and then the potter could break it open, resulting in a ceramic pot that had a sharp edge. Obsidian was also used in many Native American tools and weapons.
Where is obsidian found?
Obsidian can be found in numerous locations around the world. Most natural deposits of the volcanic glass are located in Mexico (called piedra filigrana), New Zealand, and North America, though some was mined in Africa during pre-colonial times. Obsidian from Africa is traded as a gemstone called zaire rubies, though almost none of these products are properly treated to change their color from red to black.
Are there natural deposits of obsidian?
Because obsidian is a relatively rare material, it is not mined. For example, the country of Nigeria does not mine it because it is so rare and valuable. A person who owns obsidian must have permission from the National Park Service to sell it and even then, they must first show that they have a proven track record of finding the material in their areas. However, there are some locations where the lava flows that produce obsidian are so thick that they can be found naturally.