X-Ray Fluorescence

Determining the origins of the raw materials used by ancient peoples can be an important part of determining the pattern early trade networks or migration routes. Obsidian is a glassy volcanic stone highly prized by ancient peoples – despite the fact that it only occurs naturally in certain places. A scientific analytical technique called X-Ray Flourescence can be employed to determine the trace element "fingerprint" of any obsidian artifact. Comparison of this fingerprint with the prints of known sources can determine the source for the artifact.

As a research tool, Lifeways regularly carries out obsidian sourcing studies. For this purpose we use only creditable laboratories offering competitive rates and relevant comparative libraries. Because Lifeways is a large organization, we are frequently available to receive valume discounts on sample processing, a saving that is passed on to our clients.



Did you know that...

A petroglyph at Grotto canyon near Canmore resembles a "Kokopelli," the flute player in Southwestern United States mythology, leading some people to falsely believe that there may have been a long distance connection between native people of New Mexico and populations in Alberta?