Four sources of obsidian have previously been recognized in Northland, but more recent field observations and new chemical analyses indicate there are three (Pungaere, Otoroa and Huruiki). Obsidian from these sources can be readily distinguished on the basis of visual characteristics and chemical attributes. The Pungaere obsidian, which is peralkaline in composition, is characterized chemically by unusually high Zr, high Rb, and very low Ba and Sr concentrations. Only two of the sources (Pungaere and Huruiki) appear to have been exploited by pre-European Maori. Available analyses of artefact assemblages suggest that Pungaere obsidian was widely distributed throughout Northland from the fourteenth century, but use of the Huruiki source may have been more limited.
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