Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Eoliths, flint tools and figure stones.

 Eoliths and  Figure Stones, destroying myths of pareidollia and natural formation. 

This article intends to be an aid in recognizing genuine worked flint stones, eoliths, stone age tools and figure stones. It also addresses the common misconceptions in mainstream archeology that puts forward the opinion that many genuine artifact finds are nothing more than random anomalies produced by nature.

This article is mainly dealing with observations of flint, particularly in the areas of flake removal and patinas, although much of this article can be carried over to other materials,  and the topological, figurative and probability observations stand on there own.

So what are Eoliths?
The word eolith comes from the Greek, eos (dawn) and lith (stone), so dawn stone. They are stones that can be found in ancient layers that supposedly predate human or hominid emergence and resemble worked stone tools or figurative depictions. Many eoliths have been recovered and put forward as stone tools, but the current mainstream belief is that these are nothing more than a natural phenomena, natural environmental factors having made recognizable shapes by random chance.

In simple terms what we are dealing with is a complete contradiction of mainstream archeological theory in the field of paleoanthropology. As many eoliths are  indistinguishable from other stone tools and can be found in layers predating accepted mainstream theorized human and ape emergence, by many millions of years.

The drawing on the left is of an eolith, and to the right an accepted flint tool. Readers of my blog may recognize the eolith's figurative topology, although subtle we can see the elephant and front leg depiction, and a concise thumb shape. This is clearly not a natural formation.
(Elephant and front leg depictions can be found throughout the materials displayed on this blog and this is a link to my theory on thumb shapes:- Rule of Thumb, Portable Rock Art)

What are Figure Stones?

Figure stones, sometimes known as pierres figures or portable rock art, are stones that show figurative resemblances, most often of creatures, commonly elephants, birds, bears, felines, apes, monkeys, hominids and humans. They show evidence of working and modification and are thus believed to be manufactured by ancient humans.

Many believe figure stone finds they have found to be genuine prehistoric artworks. In many cases it can be demonstrated that these are in fact genuine worked stone artifacts, which do indeed show numerous figurative descriptions. For the most part mainstream archeology does not accept them.

In the case of figure stones, accusations of pareidollia or appothenia are put forward to dismiss figurative observations in finds as being imagined and not deliberately created. ‘your just seeing things, your mind is playing tricks on you’, ‘nothing to see here, move along’. Natural excuses are also put forward to dismiss them as artifactual.

Figure stones can be a contradiction to mainstream theory as the creature motifs depicted can fall out of time line with the theory of the evolution of man and the emergence of cognition producing the oldest figurative works of art.

To long won't read?
In short many Eoliths are genuine stone tools found in tertiary layers, They are no different from other recognized stone tools accepted and on display in museums all over the world, the only difference being is that these are not in line with current evolutionary theory, ape and man emergence timelines. Topology, flake removal, blade retouch, bulbs of percussion and surface patina prove they are genuine artifacts and not geofacts. Many figure stones are also genuine pieces of prehistoric art, many observations prove the validity of my own finds, the most potent of which is topology and probability, but flake removal and deliberate modification also prove they are artifacts in there own right. So accusations of pareidollia can be instantly dismissed, the objects have been manufactured, if its not a picture of an elephant then what is it?

Lessons for mainstream paleoanthropology and archeology :-  

When the facts don't fit the theory, don't dismiss the facts but change the theory.

O'rly? So Eoliths are genuine artifacts?
Firstly I am not going to claim that all stones that have been recognized to be tools or sculptured figure stones are genuine artifacts, however nearly all that fit my criteria and recognized topology are genuine stone tools or prehistoric works of art.
Flints that show flake removal, retouch and shape topology have been dismissed in archeology and paleoanthropology  as a natural occurrence.  Environmental effects such as, trampling, geological stressors, tides, wave action and other means are claimed to produce tool shapes, these often appear to show blade flake removal, and shape adherence no different from other recognized flint tools. There is no evidence that natural effects can or have produced stones that would otherwise fall into the category of worked stone tools.

Debunking the archeological stand point of 'Eoliths are natural formations.' and images on Figure stones as pareidollia . We are going to examine patina, flake removal, topology, probability, pareidollia , tar and ocher.

Signs of working and modification?
Two common stand points for assessing flint objects as being worked are the presence of these:

1. Bulbs of percussion and con-cordial fractures.

2. Repeated flake removal scars on the flattened surfaces of the flint.

Unfortunately it really is not as simple as that, although they may both be good indicators for some standard shaped tool production, many  modified stones do not have those indicators. Here are some problems with only using those two 'rules' to assess flints as artifacts.

1. Not all flint modifications are 'standard', cortex removal and sculpting do not show bulbs or con-cordial fractures. Grinding to produce cupules or holes does not produce con-cordial fractures or bulbs of percussion.

2. Bulbs of percussion are often made as a result of large flake removal, the basic shape of the tool being made with a blow to a prepared area of the flint. Not all worked stones fit that basic tool shape topology, and the basic shape is not made with a single large blow producing the bulb of percussion.

3. Con-cordial fractures can be covered by patinas, the ripples are covered by a build up of a thick layer on the surface of the flint.

4. Many flint tools recognized as such and in museums or collections do not show bulbs of percussion.

5. Repeating flake removal scaring on flat surfaces is about thinning, shaping and sharpening of a common tool shape, not all working in flint is aimed at producing those shapes, so those repeating flake scars may not be present.

Other signs on artifacts?

I have observed iron patches, etchings and staining on many flint tools, this is not there by chance, I usually refer to this as ochre, as it covers all of the types of this material, weather from applied natural deposits, iron pyrite, prepared materials or iron rich meteorites. Prehistoric peoples are well renowned for there use of ochre, and patches, etchings or staining can be found on the majority of recognized prehistoric flint tools of certain age.

The photo of this fossilized echinoderm shows an example of ochre etching, the dark lines in the center of the fossil were produced by sustained force in multiple strokes from an iron rich 'stylus'. This surface find was likely dug from deep chalk deposits while mining flint, this type of fossil has other uses besides decorative or figurative, they make excellent hammer stones. 

So why are ochre etchings on flint a sign of genuine artifactuality, and not there by random chance? Quite simply, sustained, localized, and precise linear pressure from an iron rich source needs to be applied to the surface of the flint in order to produce an ochre etched line, this is clearly not a natural phenomena, and many times there are many such etched lines on individual finds.

This flint tool shows a manufactured ape face description, the eye shape is made up of numerous tiny flake removal scars, but has a form of paint been used for the other more colorful areas of the face? The paint now being petrified into the patina? Numerous examples of finds like this from my site would suggest so.

Another common feature in my figurative finds is the presence of what looks to be a tar like substance, prehistoric people are known to have made birch tar. This appears to have been used as an aid in figurative design, rather like we would use paint today but also applied and etched away.

The distance from ear tip to trunk tip (which are the longest dimensions) were measuered A, 76mm, B, 72mm C, 75mm. Differing techniques were used in the creation of the eye shapes, as follows: A, ochre etching and flake removal., B, exploitation of natural inclusion and flake removal., C, Many tiny flake removal scars and application of a tar like substance.

Patina on genuine artifacts, and examining flake removal.

Patinas naturally build up over large time periods on flint surfaces, this is one key feature in determining validation of flint objects as manufactured, and ruling out almost all natural excuses in tool shape creation from these stand points.

1. Flints are naturally formed in nodules, chalk sealed, these being completely cortex covered, so any flake removal of the cortex would indicate some kind of physical action in order to have done so, natural or intended. These show little evidence of large flake removal, or disturbance and all broken pieces are present, although breakage would be uncommon.

2. Genuine artifacts should have a mainly coherent patina, not many differing patinas on differing surfaces. However, sometimes a stone can be rediscovered, reworked and reused, which can cause anomalies in patinas, this would not be a common occurrence.

3. An even surface patina on removed surfaces suggest no flake removal since the original occurrences having happened. So a patina has built up with no further flake removal, over some considerable amount of time.

4. Probability rules out a sequence of natural events having produced multiple flake removal scars in one proximal time period, as no further flake removal scars have happened since. Multiple flake removal scars having happened in one small and distant chronology.

5. The fact that another ‘natural?’ occurrence of flake removal is absent from such ancient pieces would indicate that random chance, and natural flake removal on flint pieces is rare.

6. Crashing wave action or water flow rolling flints produce a worn effect where tiny flakes are removed over large periods of time, shapes are worn to produce pebbles, they are evidence of absence of large flake removal, and close sequences of large flake removal events due to crashing waves, tide action and friction in these conditions.

7. Erosion, removal or a violent gravitational effect on flint nodules from any resting place would also be a rare event. If a flake or sequence of flake removal scars happened, patinas would also encapsulate that event. Linear and logical flake removal does not happen in this way. This can be tested, if someone was to repeatedly drop nodules off cliffs or roll them down hills, although that in itself would be intent and agency, and not a natural event.

8. Trampling and plow damage, marking or flake removals have been found to be rare events.

9. Glacial fracture events, temperature, ‘starch fracture’ damage could be investigated but I believe theses are largely false, surface finds are very rare where they should be common. There are glaciers today, yet nobody is witnessing linear flake removal, or scale frost damage.

Conclusions on patinas.

Flints contain stratigraphy in the form of layered patinas, breakage events leave chronology, the more absent the patina build up being the most modern break or chip event.

These flint tools from my find site have some damage, a flake has broken off revealing the underlying flint material and the thickness of the patina. This kind of flake removal event is very uncommon in my finds . From my observations of flint tools of certain age, patina build up is a very slow process, microns of thickness being formed over hundreds of thousands of years. A thick patina like the ones shown could suggest huge antiquity in order of tens of millions of years.

Natural large flake removal is a rare event in flint. Collectors and museums hold many flint tools that demonstrate this because they have an even patina, are unbroken or further chipped (out of a creation and usage timelines.). Weathering, tide action and other natural phenomena has not produced further large flake removal. So a short succession of multiple flake removals made the shape of the item, which then over time was covered with a patina, the patina is unbroken and no other effects have produced flake removal. This counts massively towards recognizing genuine artifactuality and we can produce statistics for probability.

Examining Probability and Statistics.
Let us suppose a hypothetical scenario to test some likelihood of a success condition in the generation of a naturally occurring random eye shape. I will only use a few elements to simplify all possible scenarios.

1. A flat round surface, this represents a surface on a stone.

2. A randomly placed spot shape, this represents part of an eye feature and a hypothetical circular flake removal.

3. A randomly placed curve shape, this represents the other part of the hypothetical eye feature, again an imagined natural event.

A success scenario occurs when the condition of a spot falling directly under the curve, with the curves ends downwards and diametrically adjacent to any edge of the circle. This would produce an eye shape on a head shape that could be interpreted as a simple, and almost featureless side on face profile.

If we run the test once, we can see on one circle, with one spot and one curve, a success condition is very very unlikely. If we repeatedly make random spots and curves eventually a success condition will be met, but we will see that a large number of unwanted conditions are present, hypothetical natural flake removal events. One has to wonder how often random natural flake removals happen in stones? And if they did happen, only those proximal in time would leave an even surface patina.

When we factor in other elements such as mouth, ear, nose, nostril, hair and correct shape, the likely hood of success is very minuscule. But there are millions upon millions of stones? surely one would produce the highly unlikely chance of a complete recognizable face profile? Maybe, but I don't look through billions and billions of stones to find a repeat topology in my figure stone finds, I actually collect them very quickly without to much concern for shape beyond the obvious, mainly looking for numerous flake removal, then carry them home, and check properly for figuration afterwards.

Similar scenarios can be imagined for linear parallel flake removal scars, involving imagined lines through a hypothetical sphere requiring two pairs of x,y,z coordinates, again a parallel condition is highly unlikely. Even a scenario involving three spots on a flat plane being proximal and aligned is a hard condition to reach, and would simulate and demonstrate that a natural hypothetical blade sharpening scenario is incredibly unlikely.

What is important to remember here is not only the unlikelihood of a success condition in shape generation, but the absence of unwanted features and no observable difference in the chronology of those events being visible in the patina.
 From a statistical perspective a natural creation of a face depiction being present on this stone is highly unlikely, close to impossible.

Blade edge sharpening and shaping.
Violent breakage of flint can produce sharp flakes, that could be used as blade tools, however a small series of flake removals along an edge is almost certainly always a manufactured attempt at blade sharpening. Blade sharpening and retouch flake removal like characteristics do not occur naturally, suggesting that this is a natural phenomena is a akin to suggesting a brick wall is a natural phenomena. Patina consistency and individual linear flake removal scars would be very strong evidence of artificiality rather than natural phenomena.

Another flake removal scaring phenomena is that of parallel linear flake removal, believe it or not, this topology has in some cases been described as a natural  formation, this goes beyond any common sense or cognitive reasoning of the proponents of such opinions, even two parallel flake removal scars are improbable of being natural.

Topology and Repeating Conventions.
The only 'naturally worked' shape topology to be found in un-modified flints are the rounded oval shapes of pebbles. Flint tools and figure stones show there own man made topology, this topology is proof of design and manufacture.

1. Throughout art history a repeating topology of technique is shown, that of side profiles of the subjects to be depicted, in most cases this is exactly what figure stones show, side on profiles, and not just one side on profile in each example, but many.

2. My figurative pieces contain many detailed eye shapes, these are produced by a sequence of agency effects, multiple actions in a small area to produce an eye shape, and almost always as part of a more detailed figurative description. Naturally occurring eye shapes are a rare phenomena in stones, let alone the fact that in my finds they are often accompanied by detailed ear shapes, nose shapes mouth shapes and repeating subject profiles. Eye shapes are not always flaked, in many finds tar and ocher are used rather like paint, these are both known to have been used ubiquitously by prehistoric peoples.

3. Many figure stones stand upright, and when in an upright position the figurative descriptions are also upright, this is clearly by design. Many figure stones that don't stand have upright descriptions when the stones longest dimension is vertical. Rotating the stone around  its longest dimension in its vertical position often displays a series of upright figurative descriptions.

4. Many figure stones show numerous creature descriptions, each having numerous facial or bodily feature representations. These can often be recognized as being of known creatures, probability validates authenticity.

5. The same repeating subjects and popular motifs can be found across numerous individual samples, we have common theme's and this again is statistically unlikely to have anything to do with random chance.

6. Repeating combinations can be found, for example the elephant and front leg motif can easily be combined with the thumb motif, this blog has many examples of a repeating pattern of combined creature motifs across numerous samples. This is another set of unlikely probabilities that have an observable topology.

7. Over all basic outline and shape topologies are present, just compare the eolith picture at the beginning of the post to the other shapes shown in the post Rule of Thumb, some very close shape matches can be seen.  These can also contain sub sets of topologies, for example the thumb nail shape and elephant eye shape being present and correctly aligned and located.

Pareidollia and Apothenia.

Many topologies, probability, flake removal, intended modifications etc. have already ruled out pareidolia as a possibility in my finds. However I have found this excellent video by Danny Wilten and other contributors, which will help educate in this field.


My understanding of figure stones has led me to believe that although they are artworks in their own right showing incredible skill and forethought, they can have a more practical usage as well. Common topology of motifs, conventions, recognised combinations of shapes and a common species lexicon are observed, so in my view a visual language which can be recognized almost world wide, although that is not covered in this article. Many factors prove them to be genuine, the most potent of which are topology and probability, but flake removal, even patinas, deliberate modification and ochre and tar usage also prove they are indeed artifacts.

As for ‘eoliths’ many are genuine stone tools found in tertiary layers right through to cretaceous layers, they are no different from other recognized stone tools accepted and on display in museums all over the world, the only difference being is that these are not in line with current evolutionary theory, ape and man emergence timelines. These can also have figurative content. Topology of flake removal, blade retouch, bulbs of percussion and surface patina prove they are genuine artifacts and not geofacts.

Many eoliths and figure stones are manufactured items, the details and points raised in this article prove it beyond any shadow of doubt. I also have video evidence of an artwork find being removed from stratified layers dating well into the cretaceous period, that's over 65 million years old according to scientific dating of the layers. Not only that, the find is part of a recognizable and repeating topology, an artifact in its own right, just like a bike, a wall or a mobile phone, the item is manufactured and conforms to an observable set or rules.

Figure stones are a sculptured record that contain a vast wealth of information about fauna in any given stratified layer, archeologists, paleontologists and researchers who wish to know the truth about our distant past would be fools to ignore such detailed environmental information.