An eolith is not an artefact. Eoliths are stones fractured by natural processes, which can resemble deliberately-fashioned tools. These eoliths show the range of stone-flaking that can occur naturally.

In deliberate tool-making, a stone is shaped by striking it near the edge, breaking off a flake. The edge of the stone must be acute-angled—measuring 90 degrees or less—and the flintknapper delivers the flake-detaching blow behind a lump or ridge on the stone’s face. But natural stones often have acute-angled edges, and when natural processes cause stones to hit each other forcefully, flakes can be broken off. This most often occurs in tumbled river gravels and beaches, or by rocks bouncing off each other as they roll down steep slopes. Eoliths can show some features of purposeful tool manufacture.

Eolith core 1

Eolith Core

Eolith core 2

Eolith Core

Eolith flake 1

Eolith Flake

Eolith, flake 2

Eolith Flake

Eolith flake 3

Eolith Flake

Eolith flake 4

Eolith Flake

Flake, taphonomic damage


Eolith AIA 1

Eolith Piece

Eolith retouched cobble

Eolith Retouched Cobble