Denisovan Ancestry in East Eurasian and Native American Populations

15 July 2017

A grinning 3/4 left facial profile in shallow flint re-touch work on the edge of a U.K. Lower Paleolithic Clactonian scraper

'3/4 left profile of human head with smile'
Lower Palaeolithic -  UK scraper. c.350,000+ BP.

A Clactonian /Acheulean discoidal pebble scraper. Produced on a cortex backed section of a large river pebble. Two sections on the dorsal face have been flaked towards a distal point. Ventral face with a clear bulb of percussion and one third of the circumference displays some wonderful, shallow flaking. Silver and orange ancient patina on exposed flint. Size 7cm x 7cm. Acquired by Ken Johnston from an old collection.

 Facial profile with arrow illustrating the figure's 'line of vision'

Significant cortex or weathered rind remains on the cobble on the other side

27 June 2017

Artists report portable rock art aplenty near Bucksport, Maine

Stone bird sculpture, Sam Minot find, Bucksport, Maine 
"hey, saw your blog and some of the photos of portable rock art and wanted to share some really good ones that we have found over the years here in Maine . One here is just like the little finch (i call it) that you have a photo of. I have one here too that (i think) is of the Great Auk, a flightless seabird that was killed off by early Europeans. and we have many (dozens and dozens) of profiles and faces,,,, we are artists ourselves, so we have become privy to the wonderful stone art in the artifacts we find everywhere here ! ~ sam minot, Bucksport, Me."   

Silhouette of the stone bird sculpture

'Great Auk'

The only known historical image of a Great Auk made with the live animal as the subject. Wikipedia.

This Cosquer Cave, France, rock art panel likely depicts the Great Auk. The art here is dated to ca. 18,500 years before present.

22 June 2017

Human and feline hybrid stone figure from Arkfeld site, Clear Brook, Virginia

Adam Arkfeld find and interpretation, Clear Brook, Virginia

Black line illustrates the implied feline 'tail.' Circle highlights the head with open mouth which seems to have more of a human quality.

Arkfeld notes the presence of a worked 'eye' shape to the left of the head and the Pharohnic Egypt use of the 'all seeing eye of Horus' and human and feline hybrid dieties like Sekhmet.

31 May 2017

New Tennessee site with portable rock art, anvils, flint and tools

Edgar Lopez finds, White House, Tennessee
My name is Edgar and I am seeking your help on some finds that I dug up while starting a garden.
I believe I may have stumbled on some ancient American Indian artifacts. I am including a link with the pictures to this email. Please email me back if you think there is a chance that I'm correct on what these artifacts are. Or, if you have another idea of what this could be, please let me know that as well. They may just be rocks or they may be something extraordinary. I have zero expertise in this area; I am grateful if you are able to help."
I informed Mr. Lopez based on my experience his intuition is correct and he has found a likely Paleolithic art and tool site.

The red mark indicates the mouth of a human head right profile. The head may also include a 'hair' representation.

The white circle indicates the face and nose of a 'bear' in right 3/4 profile. Other possible bear figures have been found by Mr. Lopez. (Click photos to expand and compare)

To the left of the bear head is a pitted area in the stone which may have been a receptacle or work area of some kind.

Human faces in Paleolithic art (R.D. Guthrie)

This figure with evidence of human modification in the eye and mouth areas is compatible with human head forms as described on a gradient by R. Dale Guthrie in his book The Nature of Paleolithic Art.

Blue marks illustrate incised lines carved on the stone face mask.

A broken anvil stone reassembled by Mr. Lopez

A broken block of flint reassembled

Rhomboid and square tablet stones typical of many Paleolithic sites in the United States are seen here in situ courtesy of Mr. Lopez.

Crude tools and utilized stones identified by Mr. Lopez

These kinds of artifacts detected by laypersons show that a formal education in Archaeology precludes one's ability to detect materials not already assumed to be present by prior knowledge. Mr. Lopez has been told by many these are 'just rocks' but we can indeed know better.

13 May 2017

A feline and human head combination figure stone from Missouri

Stacy Dodd and Rod Weber find
The Old Route 66 Zoo site near Joplin, Missouri

This figure depicts a right 3/4 profile perspective feline-looking head with pointed ears along with a face which resembles a grinning human. It has two eyes, a nose and a mouth in addition to the two ears.

Löwenmensch, a lion-headed figurine found in Germany, dating to the Upper Paleolithic of about 35,000 to 40,000 years ago

27 April 2017

Central Georgia landowner identifies an archaeological site with typical Paleolithic patterns of iconography and stone tools

Crude human or animal face on a cobble
The Kingpin Site, Central Georgia

Human head left profile sculpture on a plaque, with pointy head

'Eye' and 'mouth' work on the stone to sculpt a human face

Curated manuport or artifact triggers basic facial recognition reflexes

Human head with worked hair line looking to upper right. There is also work to create the eye and mouth features of the figure. Click photos to expand and toggle.

'Stone doll' from the Kingpin Site

Animal head facing left is interpreted here as a depiction of the head of the giant ground sloth. The animal's well-developed jaw for chewing is captured by the Ice Age artist. Only a few stone figures of the sloth have been featured on this blog and this is an extremely rare find. 

The worked 'eye' and 'mouth' areas of the sloth depiction are highlighted

Giant ground sloth illustration for comparison

'Sloth slayer' from central Georgia
Giant point is among the tools found with the iconic pieces at The Kingpin Site. We just don't know if an object like this was ceremonial or intended to be functional. Was it used as a spear tip or maybe an earth hoe? It seems suitable for hafting.

Tools identified from the Kingpin Site in central Georgia

A well-utilized tool from the Kingpin site

12 April 2017

Lower Paleolithic human head profile in 'yell' motif from Île d'Oléron, France

Lower Paleolithic human head left profile in 'yell' motif from Île d'Oléron, France. Henri Valentie find.

Anthropomorphic stone figures with mouths agape have been variously interpreted as yelling, laughing, crying, singing, etc.

Mouth-like stone work treatment of the stone's natural opening

This natural formation may have inspired the artist to make the 'yelling head' motif out of this stone

Limestone lamp, Henri Valentie find

I present a limestone lamp of 15/12 cm.
The black burned part is 8.5 / 7 cm.
The second part is a geode. The hole is natural.on a human head profile.
The cavity of the mouth has been enlarged by the man. The opening is 4.5cm.
The piece is 15/11 cm
These 2 stones come from the same site (lower paleo) on the island of oleron

The Île d'Oléron is now just off the France west coast but would have been part of the mainland at times when sea levels were lower with water locked up in glacial ice.

28 March 2017

'Animated handaxe' is hundreds of thousands of years old and has faint traces of a human face on its lower right edge as seen in many other examples

 Sahara desert, Morocco
300,000 to 1.5 million years old artifact
(click photos to expand and toggle)

'Animated handaxe' is hundreds of thousands of years old and has faint traces of a human face on its lower right edge as seen at Archaeology of Portable Rock Art blog in many other examples.

Please note the work traces to create a 'beetling brow' or prominent brow ridge above the eyes. This is a characteristic of the Homo erectus skull and face.

These artifacts of Homo erectus disprove the common wisdom of the emergence of symbolism and art in a 'creative explosion' only in Homo sapiens around 40,000 years ago.

As suggested by the Makapansgat, S.A., 'pebble of many faces' which was likely collected by Australopithecus africanus 3 million years ago, these cognitive capabilities have probably been present since the emergence of the genus Homo around 2 million years ago.

'Makapansgat pebble of many faces'