A granular variety of quartz (SiO2)
of a fine crystalline structure, consisting mainly of chalcedony
with some opaline silice. Flint is usually smoky brown or dark gray, although
the variety known as chert is a paler gray.
It commonly occurs in rounded nodules and is found in chalk
or other sedimentary rocks containing
calcium carbonate. Of great importance to early humans during the Stone
Age, when struck a glancing blow, flint can be flaked, leaving sharp edges
appropriate for tools and weapons; two flints struck together produce a
spark which can be used to make fire. Hardness: nearly 7.
|Mesolithic flint blade. Image credit:
AND PLANETARY SCIENCE