Archaeologists discover chocolate flint mine from prehistoric period

Archaeologists from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń has discovered a chocolate flint mine that dates from 10,000 years ago, located in the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland of Poland.

The research is carried out as part of a five-year project, entitled “Chocolate flint in the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. Extraction, Use and Distribution ”, financed by the National Science Centre.

Chocolate flint is a type of siliceous rock that occurs in wide belt outcrops of Jurassic formations, used for tool manufacturing due to the hard, brittle, homogeneous structure of the stone.

The quality of chocolate flint was appreciated by prehistoric communities from the Middle Palaeolithic, through the Mesolithic and Neolithic, to the Iron Age, and it was most popular in the late Palaeolithic period (15 to 12 thousand years ago).

- Advertisement -
Image Credit : Magdalena Sudol-Procyk

It was previously thought that tool manufacturing by Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens in the region sourced chocolate flint from the Świętokrzyskie Mountains some 150 km’s away, but the discovery of deposits in the Udorki Valley in the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland has shown that chocolate flint was also sourced locally.

The team’s research, though incomplete, shows that the mine was operated between 10 to 6 thousand years ago. “It is also a surprising discovery, because the vast majority of the mines known to us (including other siliceous raw materials) from the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland and the Świętokrzyskie Mountains come from the Neolithic period, which means they are younger than the new mine discovery” – said Dr. Sudoł-Procyk from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń.

It is not known yet whether it was a mine with deep shafts and underground galleries, but it is suggested that prehistoric hunters dug into the valley slope after seeing the flint deposits exposed by the river. Archaeologists propose that after the extraction of the raw materials, it was processed in the immediate vicinity of the mine. Find out more


Header Image Credit : Magdalena Sudol-Procyk

- Advertisement -
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is an award winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education and the BCA Medal of Honour.

Mobile Application


Related Articles

Prison bakery for enslaved people found in Roman Pompeii

Archaeologists have uncovered a Prison bakery during recent excavations in Pompeii.

Baboons in Ancient Egypt were raised in captivity before being mummified

In a new study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, researchers examined a collection of baboon mummies from the ancient Egyptian site of Gabbanat el-Qurud, the so-called Valley of the Monkeys on the west bank of Luxor.

Archaeologists find 22 mummified burials in Peru

A Polish-Peruvian team of archaeologists have uncovered 22 mummified burials in Barranca, Peru.

Oldest prehistoric fortress found in remote Siberia

An international team, led by archaeologists from Freie Universität Berlin has uncovered an ancient prehistoric fortress in a remote region of Siberia known as Amnya.

Top 10 archaeological discoveries of 2023

The field of archaeology has been continuously evolving in 2023, making significant strides in uncovering new historical findings, preserving cultural heritage, and employing innovative technologies to study the past.

War in Ukraine sees destruction of cultural heritage not witnessed since WW2

The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 has resulted in a significant loss of human lives and the national and international displacement of many Ukrainian people.

Archaeologists find five Bronze Age axes in the forests of Kociewie

According to an announcement by the Pomeranian Provincial Conservator of Monuments, archaeologists have discovered five Bronze Age axes in Starogard Forest District, located in Kociewie, Poland.

Origins of English Christmas traditions

Christmas embodies a tapestry of ritual traditions and customs shared by many countries and cultures. Some hearken back to ancient times, while others represent more recent innovations.