Obsidian has been quarried and traded by western Melanesians since at least 19,000 bp, with the earliest-used and most important source being that at Talasea on CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: The absorption of water on exposed surfaces of obsidian.In each specific environment, the surface of an obsidian artifact absorbs water at a steady rate, forming the hydration layer. If the local hydration rate is known and constant, this phenomenon can be used as an SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: obsidian hydration layer dating, obsidian dating CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of dating in which the age of an obsidian artifact is established by measuring the thickness of its (layer of water penetration) and comparing that to a known local hydration rate.They domesticated goats and cultivated emmer, wheat, and barley.There was a succeeding PPNB phase in which the buildings changed to complexes of large rectangular rooms, each with small workshops attached and with plastered floors and walls.Obsidian was also exchanged even though there are volcanic tuffs, lavas, and post-volcanic hot springs..It is situated on a high plateau and, until the unification of the two Yemen states in 1990, was part of North Yemen (San'a'), though it lay near the disputed frontier with South Yemen.
Two dating methods have been applied to obsidian: it generally went out of favor for everyday purposes (perhaps as a result of competition from metal tools) but it continued to be used for prestige objects in some areas, especially by the Minoans and Mycenaeans.
Sickle blades, pounders, and querns were used for wild or cultivated plants in the first phase.
Artifacts include a white ware, made of mixed lime and ash and used to cover baskets, producing watertight vessels.
Burials without skulls were found and there was also a separate ritual area away from the village.
Finds from the site include materials from great distances, including obsidian from Anatolia and cowries and mother-of-pearl from the Red Sea.' culture succeeding the Belbasi culture in southern Anatolia.
Phases contained imported obsidian and early forms of pottery.