Hopewell Obsidian Artifacts

5b.31 Hopewell Obsidian Artifacts

Hopewell Obsidian Artifacts

Obsidian, or volcanic glass, is a fine material for making sharp knives and spear points. Yet the artisans of the Hopewell culture clearly were not making hunting tools when they fashioned giant points up to 17 inches long and 6 inches wide from this mineral.

The fact that obsidian is an "exotic" substance suggests that even normal-sized points and knives made of this material were for special events. The spear points may have been used as symbols in rituals to improve the skill and luck of hunters.

The obsidian objects displayed here are from the Hopewell Mound Group and the Seip mound.

Image Number: FOCase62