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Document Details :
Title: Appendix: The Geological Source of an Obsidian Ear (04.1941) from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Author(s): TYKOT, R.H.
Journal: Revue d'Égyptologie
Volume: 47 Date: 1996
The small fragmentary obsidian sample removed by Richard Newman from an Egyptian sculpted ear at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA 04.1941) is quite glassy and somewhat translucent, with a slight greenish tint to its otherwise black color. It has been noted that a green color is characteristic (but not necessarily so) of obsidian from Pantelleria, Lake Van, Abyssinia, and Arabia, although these obsidians are rarely translucent. The sample was quantitatively analyzed for 11 elements using an electron microprobe equipped with wavelength dispersive X-ray spectrometers, following a procedure already established for the analysis of Mediterranean-region obsidians. This inexpensive method is also minimally destructive in that only a millimeter-sized specimen must be removed from an artifact, and provides quantitative major and minor element data which may be compared to results from other analytical methods.