On October 19, 2019, the ar of anthropology once again had the pleasure of assisting the Education and also Interpreter staff in awarding the BSA Scouts Merit Badge for archaeology. The Scouts invested the day learning how to excavate artifacts from dig boxes and also creating mini-exhibits because that museum tourists to enjoy. The mini-exhibits were concentrated on typology. Scouts were asked come organize lithics (mostly arrow heads and spear points) by physics characteristics. Stem and also shoulder shape, cross section, and also flaking layouts are frequently used by archaeologists to categorize objects. Other an easy morphological typology categories have the right to rely on color, weight, or material.

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The Scouts to be asked to develop labels for their mini-exhibits to describe the thinking behind your classifications. Some Scouts organized objects through size, if others decided to to compare the various shapes. One scout was organizing objects by material, particularly obsidian. The asked if that was practically indestructible prefer in Minecraft™ and also I had to phone call him the obsidian is actually volcanic glass that division pretty quickly resulting in a conchoidal fracture, i m sorry is why civilization have made therefore many arrowhead heads and also spear points the end of it. The replied, “well, following you’ll phone call me the it doesn’t create portals right into a nether dimension.” sorry Scout, come my knowledge it walk not.

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To investigate more into exactly how obsidian is used in Minecraft™, I called the many knowledgeable gamer ns know. Mine nephew, Zak, to be happy to define to me that in the video game you incorporate lava and water to create obsidian blocks. This isn’t exactly true. Obsidian is developed when molten rock material cools so quick it cannot kind a crystalline framework at an atomic level. It typically solidifies ~ above the earth surface, making the an extrusive rock. Follow to Zak, the obsidian in Minecraft™ can be provided to produce a very strong wall or to access the nether dimension that I had actually learned around from the Scout. Weapons room not do from it and also it is very hard to break. In reality, obsidian is easily broken by human activity and can also be worn down by the weather. This would certainly make it a devastating substance from which to build a fortress. While obsidian is not used to develop indestructible wall surfaces or portals, it is supplied to make surgical tools. It have the right to be made sharper than steel and also can be inserted in scalpels because that precision procedures. So, when the obsidian in Minecraft™is various than obsidian top top Earth, at least it sparked a conversation.

The obsidian artefacts in this picture are a part of the educational collection maintained by the ar of Anthropology.

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To learn an ext about the BSA Merit Badge for archaeology visit: https://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Archaeology

To read an additional CMNH blog about obsidian visit: https://londonchinatown.org/tag/emerald-obsidianite/

Amy L. Covell-Murthy is the Archaeology arsenal Manager at Carnegie Museum of natural History. Museum employee are urged to blog about their unique experiences and knowledge got from working at the museum.