Flint nodules embedded within subsurface Pennsylvanian Formation limestone deposits in this vicinity were an important source of stone used for the manufacture of tools and weapons by Nebraska’s prehistoric inhabitants. Several intact quarry pits remain north of the village of Nehawka, while others southwest of the village have been destroyed by limestone mining. Flint deposits are also exposed in local creek banks, where mining by prehistoric peoples is also evident. Artifacts recovered from the quarry sites by archeologists date from about 500 to 5,000 years in age.
Major users of the flint from the quarries belonged to the Central Plains Tradition, prehistoric farmers who inhabited small earthlodge settlements in east central Nebraska and western Iowa from about 1000 to 1400 A.D. Flint similar to that in the Nehawka quarries has been discovered at dozens of Central Plains Tradition sites, as well as those occupied by other cultures. Its wide distribution indicates that Nehawka flint was an important article of trade among prehistoric peoples in the central Great Plains. The Nehawka Flint Quarries have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.