En protolitt er en bergart som kan forandres gjennom metamorfose. Hvis protolitten f.eks. er en basalt, vil metamorfosen kunne omdanne den til flere nye bergarter som amfibolitt og grønnstein, avhengig av trykk og temperatur (Figur 1).

Figur 1: Trykk-temperatur diagram (P-T diagram) som viser hvordan bergarter kan omdannes til nye bergarter (metamorfose). Kilde Understanding Earth Copyright 1994 W. H. Freeman and Company.

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