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Geofact or Eolite

A geofact, or pseudo- artifact , is a naturally modified rubble that has artifact- like, human-made features. The features that arise in the case of cuts and cores through intentional processing were created exclusively by natural forces in geofacts. Geofacts can have features that simulate human processing: the hump, face and scar, which indicate a punctiform break initialization, as well as marginal retouching , which is caused by a directed mechanical stress on the edge, for example by repositioning ( see graphic at tee ). Such bumps, which often look very similar to processing by targeted hitting, can be caused by rolling and hitting one another in gravel . Suitable scenarios for the bump are also offered by fast-flowing waters, the surf, earth or ice pressure, wind, temperature and humidity changes.

The Eolite Dispute

In the history of research in archeology , the word eolite (from the Greek Eos , the dawn and lithos , the stone) was first used to describe worked-looking rubble tools. The term “Éolithique” was used by Gabriel de Mortillet as early as 1883 in his work Le préhistorique: antiquité de l'homme to describe the oldest prehistoric age. With regard to the oldest objects, many scientists at the end of the 19th century were mistakenly convinced that even in the layers of the Tertiary (about 25 million years ago) eolites were human tools. The “dawn of mankind”, the geological age of which could hardly be estimated at that time, was therefore already associated with stone tools .

Marcellin Boule , Henri Breuil and Hugo Obermaier , for example , who expressed their views in 1905, had a different opinion . In 1905 Marcellin Boule published observations from the gravel mill at Mantes-la-Ville . In such "chalk mills", flints were ground industrially. As a result, he found masses of eolites that had all the characteristics of human processing, right down to extremely thin blades that would be typical of the Magdalenian . The discussion, which was particularly intense in 1905, is known as the "Eolithenstreit". The discussion was also echoed in the December meeting of the German Geological Society in 1905, when Hans Hahne explained the differences between geofacts from chalk mills and artefacts. The discussion was fueled by the different evaluations of gravel finds in German sites, for example in the so-called "Park gravel pit" in Hundisburg . In contrast, Fritz Wiegers supported the work of Breuil and Obermaier.

Geofacts as works of art

Since Jacques Boucher de Perthes , the discoverer of ancient Paleolithic artefacts and a well-deserved amateur researcher in prehistory, figurative works of art have been seen time and again in geofacts (see Old Paleolithic small art ). Here, randomly created, figurative-looking nature games stimulate the viewer's imagination.

Current rating

Deciding whether it is a geofact or a man-made stone artifact can be difficult. In this case, the context of the find can be used for decision-making (see finding ). If there are other traces of human activity in the vicinity, for example settlements, it can be concluded that it is an artifact. A chipped stone found in isolation is more likely to be classified as a geofact. Geofacts are also suitable as tools and may therefore have been used by hominins in individual cases .

Today's pleadings for the recognition of the Eolites as artefacts are usually only made for ideological reasons.

Individual evidence

  1. Gabriel de Mortillet : Le préhistorique. Antiquité de l'homme (= Bibliothèque des Sciences Contemporaines. Vol. 8, ZDB -ID 919172-0 ). C. Reinwald, Paris 1883 (e.g. page 22).
  2. ^ S. Hazzledine Warren: On the Origin of Eoliths. - In: Man. Vol. 5, 1905, ISSN  0025-1496 , pp. 179-183.
  3. Max Blanckenhorn : On the question of the manufactories in the Diluvium of the Magdeburg and Neuhaldensleben area. In: Journal of the German Geological Society. Vol. 57, 1905, ISSN  0012-0189 , pp. 220-222.
  4. ^ Paul Favreau: New finds from the Diluvium in the vicinity of Neuhaldensleben, in particular the gravel pit at the park of Hundisburg. In: Journal of Ethnology. Vol. 37, H. 2/3, 1905, ISSN  0044-2666 , pp. 275-284.
  5. ^ Fritz Wiegers: The natural formation of the eolites in the north German Diluvium. In: Journal of the German Geological Society. Vol. 57, 1905, pp. 485-514.
  6. Martin Neukamm: Forgotten Archeology: Stone tools as old as dinosaurs? . AG EvoBio. June 26, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2019. ( Digitized versionhttp: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/ 3D ~ double-sided% 3D ~ LT% 3D ~ PUR% 3D )

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