This is the object that automatically comes to mind when we think about Prehistory! The reason is that it is an exceptional piece of our history. It gave birth to the first tools about 2.3 million years ago. It is an extremely weatherproof stone often found in the form of pebbles, slabs or very thick flags along streams and beaches. The first people who used it therefore were looking for them in these areas, which current seekers continue to do. Our ancestors used elk antlers, animal bones or other natural materials to split it. As is often the case with cryptocrystalline rocks, to which it belongs, its type of breakage is predictable and easily recognizable. Geologists refer to it as a conchoidal cleavage, both sharp and curved. Once cut, the material has an extremely sharp and robust edge. For this reason, it was highly sought after by prehistoric man. It was essential in everyday life, whether for hunting, skinning animals, cutting up carcasses, making new tools, or starting a fire. Contrary to popular belief, it is impossible to start a fire by striking two flint fragments together. In reality, it must be in contact with steel or a material with a high iron content to produce sparks.
The different tools created include axes, harpoons, knives, chisels, drills or hooks. The use of this material can therefore be considered as a turning point for the human race and lifestyle. People’s lives depended on it, so they would be willing to travel long distances to find pieces of the mineral. Early trade was even set up to meet the demand, using this stone as a kind of currency between populations and a link builder between several territories. Later, it was also used by the American Indians to make, for example, arrowheads or spearheads, then by European settlers who used it to start fires, but also to grind grain in the early mills and to make flint guns. It was the Middle Ages early version of the lighter, used on a firearm in order to light the powder in the gun barrel. In France, this weapon was used in the Napoleonic armies. Today, it is polished to make jewellery and is used in lithotherapy.
It is not least thanks to French researchers that we know all its uses and composition. An antique dealer, François Jouannet, and then a doctor, Casimir Picard, got interested in its properties in the 1820s, while the world was focusing on Antiquity. Later, prehistorians such as Léon Coutil, Victor Commont, or Hyppolite Muller, focused on the methods used to create tools, and tried to reproduce them. However, François Bordes is the one who most marked his field during the 20th century, helping to understand prehistoric industries. At the same time, researchers discovered the so-called “pressure”, cutting technique, which consists of pressing the tip of a blade against a block, applying strong pressure and then fracturing it, allowing a fragment to be detached. This technique requires the ability to control how rocks break when they are hit. Because of its composition, flint is one of the ideal minerals for this cutting technique.
It is a variety of cryptocrystalline rock, meaning that it is formed of crystals invisible to the naked eye. It will therefore not have the appearance of amethyst or smoky quartz, but of a homogeneous opaque block more generally. It is what geologists call a siliceous rock, i.e., a rock consisting of silica. The latter, whose chemical composition is SiO2, mainly takes three forms: fibrous (chalcedony), granular (quartz), and crystallized when it is highly hydrated (opal). When it contains more opal, flint stone has a milky white colour. The more crystalline the mineral is, the more transparent it is. However, it is most of the time composed of chalcedony. Its colour varies from grey to buff-yellow, and pinkish or black-brown. It can also be found in deep black in carboniferous limestones. It is found in the form of kidneys or aggregates. It is a hard rock with shinny lustre and scaly break. It is also a dense material with a hardness between 6.5 and 7 on Mohs scale. Because it is as brittle as it is hard, specialists frequently compare it to glass. Its fine and compact texture distinguishes it from chert, but many specialists use both terms interchangeably, because of their very similar composition and formation. Sometimes it is hollow and contains crystals.
It is formed mainly under the sea or under lakes. Initially, it is a more or less fine mud rich in silica. This would come from residues of skeletal remains of marine organisms, such as diatoms. Some geologists suggest that it is more likely to be volcanic ash, which appeared after violent eruptions. Through physical, biological, and chemical mechanisms, mud penetrates and fills the voids left by the limestone or chalk to solidify and form a nodule. The transformation of mud into a nodule takes place within different materials such as Senonian limestone, chalk and, more rarely, clay. This process of consolidating a liquid into a crystal is called diagenesis. It seems that crystallization may have been accelerated by different elements such as sponge or sea urchin fossils. In deposits, it is composed of a silicified part, called the core, and a white envelope, called the cortex. Geological maps list a significant number of deposits in France, mostly in Indre-et-Loire, Normandy, the Paris region, Champagne-Ardenne, Picardy, the North and the South-East. These deposits, which are quite abundant, are the subject of lasting researchers’ curiosity. Moreover, research has mainly focused on the Grand Pressigny deposit, renowned for its excellent quality rocks.
It does not only attract archaeologists and jewellers. As a stone radiating quite strong energy, it is known to make its owner courageous, strong and enterprising like a true warrior. Even the laziest among us become active, energetic and efficient under its influence! In the same way that it creates sparks, it rekindles your inner flame. It not only increases physical and mental combativeness, but also offers a wide range of emotional virtues. People who need to assert themselves should wear a piece of flint stone around their neck, like an amulet, to develop their capacity to firmly defend their opinion, to convince other people, and to make quick and correct decisions. Throughout history, it has been a strong symbol for teachers, doctors, soldiers, lawyers and politicians because it provides the self-esteem necessary to express oneself freely. It can reduce mental stress by alleviating feelings of inferiority and ridding its owner of old complexes. It can therefore benefit shy people, as well as those who are going through unusual periods of doubt, anxiety or lack of self-confidence.
It is associated with Scorpio, but astrologers recommend its use for all zodiac signs except Pisces. People born under this sign can become aggressive, reckless and irritable when they come into contact with the stone. For the rest of us, it brings positive energy, since it maximizes our ability to rationalize things and understand them. Specialists generally recommend it to busy people who wish to take the shortest and quickest way to success.
It is an ultimate solution for protecting its owner’s home, especially against lightning. It accumulates all the negative energy that enters the house and destroys it, especially when it is placed over a door. It also provides protection when traveling. Since ancient times, it has been considered the traveler’s protector. In the past, people believed that it protected people from aggression, and warned them against fraud and deception. It was frequently used by the Amerindians in religious and magical rites, as were the Vikings, who considered knives made of this material as family gods and blessed them in beer and melted butter. The Irish, on the other hand, believed that the blades protected against fairies. Indeed, it keeps away not only evil spirits, but also the negative energies that can grow within everyone. Nevertheless, it is particularly suitable for people who suffer from jealousy or extreme anger. It detects negative waves and suggests ways to avoid conflict. CThese suggestions are translated into a more developed sense of intuition. Financially, it offers the necessary intuition to optimize money management: it can help people in precarious situations, big spenders and people who are embarking on a major investment. On the other hand, it has a great influence on relationships, whether they are family or romantic. It gives a positive direction to your life after a trauma, especially before the relationship is over. It is mentioned by experts in the context of toxic relationships to give you the strength to cut ties with people who are doing you more harm than good. Like some accessories, such as rose quartz, experts recommend carrying a piece of flint stone in a pocket on the left side. This piece of stone then works on the heart, physically strengthens its owners and makes them generous and responsive. This is necessary in order not to be consumed by anger and, once again, to repair one’s self-esteem. From a spiritual standpoint, it represents a powerful ally in several areas: divination, thought-sending, and communication with fairies and nature spirits. Its vibration connects to all the physical chakras, supporting, balancing and aligning their energies so that we can enjoy energy stability, and then bring our subtle body towards a harmonization of our chakras. It helps to anchor the spiritual in the physical world or, at least, to better perceive it in everyday life. We covered its psychological virtues, but note that it also has a wide variety of physical properties.
You can use it to recharge mentally, but also physically. It is one of the stones that work the most on the physical body thanks to its history and the fact that it is linked to all the chakras. Although it cannot do all the work for us, it is an undeniable support in dealing with certain physical issues. Among the Cherokees, it was used by the shamans even before medical treatments.
First of all, it is used in case of kidney stones, which eventually purifies and stimulates blood flow. In addition, lithotherapy specialists present it as a complementary solution for hepatic disorders such as liver disorders, calcium deposits in joints and arteries, lung disorders, skin and digestive lesions, and to keep nightmares away. As mentioned, this is directly related to its protective properties against evil spirits. To soothe headaches, one practice is to hit it several times and visualize the pain coming out of your head. From an aesthetic standpoint, one can use this stone to improve skin appearance, especially to prevent the appearance of pimples and acne, in addition to the application of a cream. It is particularly popular with women and teenagers, for whom the effects are more visible and quicker.
Paradoxically, it is still unknown, although it enjoys great popularity. In reality, most people see it as a mere trace of our past, whereas its powers go beyond a past/present dichotomy. Its ancestral power is certainly primordial, but it extends especially into the future. Its exceptional links with the past, present, future and the subtle worlds make it an instrument to have with you, even if its colour does not catch the eye, or its brilliance is not as impressive as that of a crystal !