OUP Anatolia

The utilization of obsidian, a natural volcanic glass, within the Anatolian communities is the core of 'ObsidianUs'. Obsidian extracted from two regions, Central Anatolia and Eastern Anatolia were widely diffused in the Near-East. These raw materials were transported over hundreds of kilometers the most probably through exchange networks. Mechanical properties of obsidians allow the manufacture of a wide range of objects through different kinds of techniques and methods of knapping and polishing. Objects are mainly, for the periods under study, tools and secondarily, bracelets, pendants, vessels or mirrors.

Obsidian is therefore for archaeologists a key element to study multiple technical practices related to different kind of subsistence or craft activities: harvesting, hunting, butchery, treatment of vegetal and animal materials (bone, antler, skin, hide) and work of different kind of rocks. Obsidian reveals as well social practices: identification of exchange networks, funeral practices and ritual of foundation. Among the main questions, the way in which the communities adopted the raw material, the rhythms and modalities of the adoption depend on the regional diversity in obsidian procurements, in the economies of the villages and in technical traditions.

At the present state of the research, chemical analysis on obsidians allow us to identify the roads of diffusion of the raw material but not to identify the social mechanisms which were behind. Our aim is to identify such mechanisms with the help of a technological approach, to analyze the way in which the ancient communities manufactured and used their lithic tools, to better understand the organization of these communities and their social links.