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These bubbles can produce interesting effects such as a golden sheen (sheen obsidian).

An iridescent, rainbow-like sheen (rainbow obsidian) is caused by inclusions of magnetite nanoparticles.

A careful analysis of obsidian in a culture or place can be of considerable use to reconstruct commerce, production, distribution and thereby understand economic, social and political aspects of a civilization.

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Well-crafted obsidian blades, as with any glass knife, can have a cutting edge many times sharper than high-quality steel surgical scalpels, the cutting edge of the blade being only about 3 nanometers thick.Having a low water content when newly formed, typically less than 1% water by weight, obsidian becomes progressively hydrated when exposed to groundwater, forming perlite.Pure obsidian is usually dark in appearance, though the color varies depending on the presence of impurities.Yellowstone National Park has a mountainside containing obsidian located between Mammoth Hot Springs and the Norris Geyser Basin, and deposits can be found in many other western U. states including Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Idaho. There are only four major deposit areas in the central Mediterranean: Lipari, Pantelleria, Palmarola and Monte Arci.The first known archaeological evidence of usage was in Kariandusi and other sites of the Acheulian age (beginning 1.5 million years BP) dated 700,000 BC, although the number of objects found at these sites were very low relative to the Neolithic.

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