Mount Edziza, in Tahltan traditional territory, was the source of the obsidian that was widely traded in pre-contact times.
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass that is highly valued for its cutting qualities. Thin flakes knocked off of a piece of obsidian can have razor sharp edges.
This material occurs in a limited number of regions and therefore is a valuable tool in reconstructing ancient trade networks. Artifacts made of obsidian can be analysed or "fingerprinted" to show which quarry the raw material came form.
A main source of obsidian in the northwestern part of the Province occurs at Mount Edziza above the Skeena River. This material was traded as far away as Alaska and northern Alberta as early as 10,000 years ago.
Obsidian found on the central coast and Interior comes from several sources around the Ilgachuz and the Rainbow Mountains located between the Fraser River and the Bella Coola River drainage. Sources in the American state of Oregon produced many of the artifacts found on the southern coast and southern Interior.