Other Stone Objects

Stone tools were usually used for stabbing, cutting, scraping, and grinding, but sometimes they served other functions. This gallery includes stone objects of unknown function, or items that do not fit comfortably in the other galleries.

One well-known alternative use for a stone tool is to strike sparks from steel, a legacy that lives on in many modern butane lighters.  The stone part of fire-making kits is referred to as the ‘flint’, or ‘strike-a-light’.  Stone strike-a-lights date back to at least the Chalcolithic, and Otzi—who died around 5200 BP—carried a strike-a-light fire-making kit.  The handles of Danish flint daggers often show damage from their use as strike-a-lights.  Flintlock muskets and rifles rely on gunflints to ignite the powder, and the English closely-guarded their efficient methods of gunflint manufacture during the 18th and early 19th centuries.  People still use fire-making kits in various parts of the world, and often recycle a prehistoric flake as the flint.

Gunflint paramatta Rampe


Gunflint in lock

Gunflint in Lock

Hertzian Cone

Hertzian Cone

Engraved flint nodule 1, Israel

Engraved Nodule

Retouched ceramic

Retouched Ceramic

Soft stone bowl, UAE

Soapstone Bowl

Bead blank, Khambhat

Bead Blank

Gunflint Nepal 1


Arm ring, Mali

Stone Arm Ring

screenshot (7) copy


Gunflint UK 2


Strike-a-light Albania 1


Discoidal, Illinois


Pipe, Indiana

Smoking Pipe

Pipe chlorite North Carolina

Smoking Pipe

Soft stone bowl with lugs NC

Soapstone Bowl

Soft stone bowl NC Warren Wilson

Soapstone Bowl

Drill, North Carolina

Stone Drill