TWIN FALLS — Idaho State University anthropologist and flintknapper Jim Woods, of Twin Falls, is trying to help solve the mysteries surrounding tiny beads produced from a special type of obsidian in pre-Aztecan Mexico, about 1,200 years ago.
The beads are from 1/8- to 1-inch in diameter and are made from a type of obsidian that has microscopic air pockets that refract light, giving the beads a gold shimmer when light is shined on them, similar to tiger’s-eye gemstones. The beads were only discovered about 10 years ago at the Teotihuacan archaeological site near Mexico City, where the largest ancient pyramids in the New World are found. Teotihuacan was an ancient city to the Aztecs and was considered the birthplace to the gods by them.
“The beads are made of a stone that looks like metal,” Woods said. ‘‘They glow like pyrite, almost gold. It’s really beautiful stuff and all of it was mined out of one giant quarry.” Read more.