Indian Flint

Indian Flint – Until recently the use of the term flint was restricted to nodular concretions found in chalk beds of Cretaceous age mainly in England, France, and other European countries, but recently obtained from Cretaceous strata in Arkansas and Texas. Although flint is classed as a variety of chalcedony, the name has been extended in popular usage to include various forms of chalcedonic minerals, as chert, hornstone, basanite, jasper, agate, and the like. The principal constituent of all these minerals is silica, and not withstanding their great dissimilarity the distinctions are due almost entirely to manner of formation and included foreign substances. Such impurities, though they make up a very small percentage of the stone, produce upon exposure to atmospheric influences an infinite variety of coloring and great diversity of texture. The flints as thus defined were extensively employed by the aborigines in the manufacture of chipped implements, and the implements themselves are sometimes referred to as “flints.”  (G. F.  W. H. H.)

Indian Flint Disks – Flattish objects of circular, elliptical, or almond-like outline produced by chipping away the outer portions of nodules having these approximate forms. The question has been earnestly debated whether these and kindred forms were for any practical or economic use, or whether they had some occult significance as votive offerings. They are very seldom found in graves and infrequently on village sites or about shops where implements were made. Many of them are of the blue nodular hornstone found in s. Illinois, in the vicinity of Wyandotte cave in s. Indiana, and in w. Kentucky and Tennessee, but no record has yet been made of the discovery in large numbers of such disks in any of these localities except the first. The range in size is generally from 3 to 8 in. in length or diameter, though a few exceed the latter dimension. The finest specimen known is from Tennessee; it is almost exactly circular, made of the Stewart co. flint, about 1 in. thick and 9 in. across. Flint disks as well as the more leaf-like blades are usually found in deposits or caches containing numerous nearly identical specimens.  (W. H. H.)

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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