In the university campus scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy is writing "NEOLITHIC" on a blackboard. He reaches 'H', but pauses after putting down the two vertical strokes, seemingly confirms something and resumes writing it. What is the meaning of this?

animated GIF of scene described above

  • 3
    Do you mean when he checks that he spelled the word correctly? Isn't it just him in his awkward, hesitant professor persona?
    – Walt
    Commented Sep 3, 2017 at 22:19
  • One of the most famous monoliths is Stonehenge, which is several stones standing straight up. Note how many times he draws a straight line standing on end in a row. Commented May 6, 2023 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


He's reminding himself how to spell the word.

If you listen, he spells the word to himself, trying to remember the correct letters.

"Neo," meaning "new" and "lithic"... L-I-T-H...I-C, meaning "stone."

That's all it is. A minor gag, just the slightly absent-minded professor of archaeology needing to remember how to spell an archaeological word.

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