Making fire in the stone age: Flint and pyrite

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Flint implements with rounded ends, excavated at several Late Palaeolithic sites in Denmark and the Netherlands, are described and interpreted as strike-a-lights used in combination with pyrites. Experiments were carried out; the use-wear traces on the experimental pieces are similar to those occurring on the prehistoric specimens. It is concluded that the pyrite technique for fire production most probably predated wood-on-wood techniques, both in Europe and Greenland.




Stapert, D., & Johansen, L. (1999). Making fire in the stone age: Flint and pyrite. Geologie En Mijnbouw/Netherlands Journal of Geosciences, 78(2), 147–164.

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