Can You Differentiate European Flint From American Chert?

Author(s): Susan Langley; Raymond L Hayes

Year: 2020


This is a poster submission presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Flint rock and tools (eg., gunflints, projectile points, ballast) are sometimes found during archaeological surveys. However, identification can be difficult for field archaeologists who have not studied lithic geology (Langley et al., 2016). An assortment of 100 numbered geological specimens from various sedimentary strata in Europe and America will be available for visitors to inspect and complete an exercise differentiating flint (F) from chert (C). Specimens will be classified, recording F or C for each numbered sample on a form for subsequent assessment by the authors. Participants may self-score results. Based upon information presented, participants should learn to identify European flint found at terrestrial or underwater sites. Analytical laboratory records of elemental chemistry (X-ray fluorescence) and fine structure (scanning electron microscopy) of European flint and American chert will be presented for contrasts and comparisons. Distinguishing visible characteristics of true flint will be summaraized, based on hardness, luster, color and texture.

Cite this Record

Can You Differentiate European Flint From American Chert?. Susan Langley, Raymond L Hayes. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457356)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Analyses Chert Flint

Geographic Keywords
United States of America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 172