Characterizing ‘Chocolate’ Flint Using Reflectance Spectroscopy


The study details a pilot experiment in which samples of ‘chocolate’ flint from four procurement sites in Poland and chert from the United States were characterized spectrally and distinguished using reflectance spectroscopy and multivariate statistics. The characterization of ‘chocolate’ flint and the successful differentiation of sources has been, and continues to be, a major research focus for understanding prehistoric consumption, use, and distribution of this favored lithic resource. Reflectance spectroscopy potentially provides an analytical methodology for identifying artefact source by successfully distinguishing spatially and compositionally unique deposits. Initial results from the study show that ‘chocolate’ flint can be distinguished from other silicite tool stone resources, regional lookalike materials, and by individual deposit. Future studies will test a more robust sample size of ‘chocolate’ flints and conduct experiments on surface weathering

Publication Title

Archaeologia Polona