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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The International Association for Obsidian Studies (IAOS) was formed in 1989 to provide a forum for obsidian researchers throughout the world. Major interest areas of the IAOS include obsidian hydration dating, obsidian characterization ("sourcing"), geoarchaeological obsidian studies, obsidian and lithic technology, and the prehistoric procurement and utilization of obsidian. In addition to disseminating information about advances in obsidian research to archaeologists and other interested parties, the IAOS was also established to:
    - Develop standards for analytical procedures to ensure interlaboratory comparability.
    - Develop standards for recording and reporting obsidian hydration and characterization results.
    - Provide technical support in the form of training and workshops for those wanting to develop expertise in the field.
    - Provide a central source of information about the analytical capabilities of various laboratories and institutions and about recent advances in obsidian studies.

Cover page of International Obsidian Conference 2021 Program

International Obsidian Conference 2021 Program


This year’s virtual conference includes presentations by specialists on a wide array of obsidian studies—from natural geologic sciences to anthropology. Following the goal of our prior conferences, we remain global in scope and showcase contributions from nearly all geographical regions. We have assembled three full days of presentations and posters on themes that include:• Obsidian Sourcing Studies in Archaeology• Analytical Methods• Lithic and Technological Concerns• Theoretical and Cultural Concerns