PROVENANCE STUDY OF PREHISTORIC OBSIDIAN ARTIFACTS FROM THE MANN SITE IN POSEY COUNTY, INDIANA AND THEIR ARCHAEOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE
The trace element characteristics, specifically Sr versus Zr, confirmed the source for four of the five Mann Site artifacts as the Bear Gulch, Idaho obsidian source. One obsidian blade originated from Obsidian Cliff, now in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Two other artifacts, known to originate from the Yellowstone Plateau, showed trace element signatures representing the Obsidian Cliff source. For comparison, two fine-grained volcanic lithic artifacts from West Virginia with distinctly different trace element characteristics originate from a geologic source yet to be determined.
Identifying the geologic source of obsidian artifacts from the Mann Site confirms that, like other Hopewell cultures in the Midwest during the Middle Woodland Period, inhabitants of the Mann Site either obtained obsidian through trade or by traveling to Obsidian Cliff in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming and Bear Gulch, Idaho.