28 August 2015

Pure quartz stone from The Arkfeld Site appears to have been humanly worked and has a bit of iconic cortex remaining on its surface

Adam Arkfeld find, site #44FK732, Clear Brook, Virginia (2cm)

Pure quartz stone from the Arkfeld Site appears to have been humanly exposed by removal of the stone around the crystal formation and has a bit of cortex or rind remaining on its surface. There is suspected iconography on this crystal's cortex.

This is an exotic lithic material not naturally present at the Arkfeld site and was manuported to this location. Several crystals have been found among the tools and art at the Arkfeld site and indicate a Pleistocene human interest in the unique properties of this stone material.

View of the remaining cortex, a carved face, from the top of the crystal

Highlights on the cortex remaining on the crystal and interpretation of a simple micro human face icon carved into the cortex detected by Adam Arkfeld's close inspection and confirmed by my own examination of the stone. The face mask is a depiction in the known Old World palaeoart motif of "left eye missing." The left eye is carved all the way to the crystal to depict it as missing.

20 August 2015

An Arkfeld Site mammoth, feline, canine, owl and human combination sculpture

Sculpture 'Mammoth, right profile'
Adam Arkfeld find, The Arkfeld Site, Clear Brook, Virginia

Side 2 is a suspected feline head right profile and perhaps another animal head (undetermined, possible canine ) in left 3/4 profile.
Can you find the 'owl'?

Interpreted location of the feline's eye

Possible second animal head representation in left 3/4 profile. The feline's ears are also the ears of this second animal head.

Ken Johnston illustrated interpretation of an owl image mixed in with the others.

The 'ears' of the feline and the canine are also the 'ears' of the owl. It may be interpreted that the owl is sharing one ear from each of the other two animals. I highlighted the interpreted owl face features which are found on the sculpture and the contour and color of the stone should reveal the owl's 'body' in left profile. The owl's eyes are still quite distinct after more than 10,000 years.

A cutout of the owl figure

On side 2 within the interpreted feline head is a human head right profile with interpreted eye, nostril and mouth features.

The motifs seen in this sculpture are consistent with other finds by made by Adam Arkfeld at his remarkable site. A polymorphic sculpture like this could have been a very important part of the religious or spiritual lives of some of the Arkfeld Site people.

17 August 2015

Miles Point, Talbott County, Maryland, site tool assemblege 'anvil' dated at ca. 21,000 BP should be investigated as a possible human head paleosculpture

Ken Johnston interpreted human head sculpture in typical left 3/4 profile

Darrin L. Lowery find, Miles Point, Talbott County Maryland, 2006. Radio carbon dated by soil context to 21,000 BP.

The 'anvil' in situ with associated tools. It immediately struck me as resembling a human head form typical in portable rock art. It was left with these other stone objects and covered by loess. The Smithsonian Institution has described the find as a related assemblage.

Here is a video featuring the head in left 3/4 profile seen in the 'anvil' discovered in a Paleolithic tool context by now Dr. Lowery. You may enter the video at 22:17 and get an introduction to this find by Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution.

The archaeological site has since been physically destroyed by the landowner. If the Smithsonian Institution or Dr. Lowery has the anvil stone, it should be evaluated as a possibly sculpted human head likeness.

It is also just as possible it was used as an anvil- it could have been a decorated tool incorporating iconography into a functional piece.

Here is the anvil (sculpture) with an illustration of the interpreted human head left 3/4 profile features which could be evaluated for artificiality.

Depending on how one focuses visual attention on features of the stone, it is possible to interpret a second face looking straight on with a frowning mouth and possible human depiction of the motif 'lion taking a bite of the head with damage or removal of the left eye and the distortion of injury to the left side of the face.'

A piece like this may be seen as including a neutral or content facial expression and an expression of an unhappy one. This is seen in other examples on this blog.

In this example from Flint Ridge, Ohio, two human facial profiles are worked on the same stone. This is a real bi-face!

The first may be interpreted as a content or even smiling face and the second on the reverse side may be interpreted as frowning or grimacing. (Click photos to expand.) It is my hypothesis this motif may be depicting the human condition before and after a symbolic lion bite to the head. The lion aspect is seen more explicitly in other postings on this blog and this motif is related to two important 'Old World' palaeoart memes as described by Dr. James Harrod at originsnet.org.

The Miles Point, Maryland, anvil stone may have been an object imbued with symbolism which was important to its makers. The combined happy and frowning face masks have also been seen here in two sculptures from the Arkfeld Site in Clear Brook, Virginia.

A combination of bird, egg and human imagery in a sculpture from The Old Route 66 Zoo

Stacy Dodd and Rod Weber find, Jasper County, Missouri

One of many bird form sculptures found at this Paleolithic portable rock art mega site. The bird has been given an eye perforation in the stone at the more or less correct artistic position. I also interpret cosmic egg imagery here where the bird is depicted as emerging beak first from the top of an egg, and where the egg depicts a human face on its side.

Bird head figures were described in the mid-19th century by the French amateur archaeologist Jacques Boucher de Perthes in Acheulean (Homo erectus) contexts. Boucher de Perthes himself said "The placement of the eye is a sure sign of intent." 

Interpreted faint remnants of a human face depiction on the egg/breast of the bird sculpture. The eyes are more clear but there are also traces of a nose and mouth. This is seen in several other examples on this blog. These images were certainly more visually clear at the time of their use.

The apparent working traces seem ripe for investigation by rock art professionals to confirm them and begin to understand the age of these enigmatic artifacts. They simply are not yet accounted for by current North American anthropological science.

10 August 2015

A bison figure from The Old Route 66 Zoo Site, Jasper County, Missouri

A bison figure from The Old Route 66 Zoo Site, 23JP1222, Jasper County, Missouri. Stacy Dodd and Rod Weber find. 20x15cm

Please note the detail of the bison face includes a clear right eye. The face seems to have a mixture of of bison and human qualities

Prof. Walther Matthes, a German archaeologist, identified many stone figures around 1960 which were associated with Mousterian stone technology peoples. This Missouri figure corresponds somewhat favorably to the Neanderthal one.

Finds from The Netherlands by archaeologist Jan van Es of Roermond

Lower Paleolithic find from Beegden, The Netherlands, by archaeologist Jan van Es of Roermond.

The rabbit figure is a symbol of summer and reproduction notes van Es. "This one has lips like Marilyn Monroe." - Jan van Es

Click on photos to expand view

Ball and triangle shaped eyes of the rabbit also seen in other forms which may have human shaping

Side 1 and 2

Rock art researcher Hans Grams of Germany has pointed out the possible relationship of the angles of this triangle to the angle of the sun at the summer solstice at the 51 degrees North latitude find location of this stone. (Email communication from Mr. Grams.)

Homo erectus portrait

Collection of Jan van Es, Roermond, The Netherlands

05 August 2015

Another Arkfeld Site mammoth form profile with face on its posterior

'Mammoth left profile combined with face depiction on its posterior'
Adam Arkfeld find, Clear Brook, Virginia

There may remnants of a red (ocher?) pigment in and around the 'eye hole'

'Mammoth right profile combined with face depiction on its posterior'

The point at the top of the stone is the crest of the mammoth's head. The face on the mammoth's posterior on this side of the piece seems to show a broad incised grin in profile. Maybe the face is depicted as frowning on the other side. 8x10cm.

Clactonian England mammoth/feline head combination figure featured in the prior posting to compare to Arkfeld Site example of mammoth figure made in the same scheme or template with a face looking away opposite from the mammoth on its posterior.

Twydall, Kent, 'crude core tool' may be a more meaningful mammoth figure combined with a feline head figure in an early example of this motif at ca. 400,000 YBP

'Mammoth left profile and feline head right profile'

Twydall, Kent, U.K. 'crude core tool' may be a more meaningful mammoth figure combined with a feline head figure in an early example of this motif at ca. 400,000 YBP. This motif may have persisted for a couple-hundred thousand years and into North America which would be unbelievable if were not for the already demonstrated persistence of the Acheulean handaxe for nearly one million years.

Interpretation by Ken Johnston and another example of iconic materials already existing in museum or private collections which are very old but which have not yet been recognized. The high point on the left of the figure is the peak of the mammoth head and is also the peak of the stylized feline's ear.

"A crude Lower Palaeolithic Clactonian core tool, made from banded brown flint, measuring 75 x 101 mm/2.9 x 4 ins. Some retouching around the edges, although of irregular shape, the tool fits nicely in the hand. Found at Twydall, Kent, around 1908.

Side 2, feline head looking left, mammoth looking right

Ex Peter Negus Collection. Clactonian tools date back to around 400,000 years ago and represent some of the earliest artefacts found in Britain."

In North America, please reference this feline head and mammoth combination on a large rock outcrop formation in the state of Virginia.

Blog reader Katie Bretsch observed that by rotating the figure 45 degrees left a nice badger head left profile is depicted. I think this is an excellent observation. There may be a crude human face profile on far right edge of the sculpture where the badger head becomes a long flowing hairdo.

At 400,00 years before present these humans had the cognitive ability and cultural stimulation to manufacture something (a stone) which could also be several other things at once- mammoth, feline, badger and human in a kind of optical illusion, just depending how one focuses visual attention on the piece.