Denisovan Ancestry in East Eurasian and Native American Populations
23 January 2017
'Smiling left 3/4 profile stone portrait'
Acheulian of the Menashe Hills, Israel
This iconic sculptural artifact has two 'eyes' as protruding bumps, a 'nose', 'smiling mouth,' 'jawline,' 'chin' and 'neck.'
21 January 2017
18 January 2017
Interpreted by Ken Johnston as a 'Lion head profile looking left'
Exotic manuported biopelmicritic grey limestone, 130,000 years ago
Krapina cave Neanderthal site, Croatia, David Frayer, University of Kansas
Ken Johnston illustration of the locations of key elements of the 'lion head'
None of the 1,000 lithic items collected from Krapina resemble the rock, but despite this it was overlooked for decades.
The discovery of the rock collection may not be as exciting to many people when compared with other discoveries such as cave paintings made by modern humans living in what is now France, 25,000 years ago. However, Professor Frayer said it adds to a body of evidence that Neanderthals were capable assigning symbolic significance to objects and went to the effort of collecting them. The discovery could also provide more clues as to how modern humans developed these traits, he said. 'It adds to the number of other recent studies about Neanderthals doing things that are thought to be unique to modern Homo sapiens,' he said. 'We contend they had a curiosity and symbolic-like capacities typical of modern humans.' Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4127934/Neanderthals-liked-home-decorating-too.html#ixzz4W7YxUlSh
15 January 2017
'Sculpture of five motifs"
Rebecca Hainsworth & John Rogers find, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
We have been studying patterns on rock here in Brisbane, Australia, for some time now. What we have discovered is that we have the same figure stones here, as seen on your blog.
For example: Monkey with one eye - common theme is iron in the eye with the left eye missing, Native American symbols, Egyptian and Greek depictions, A lot of animal representations. Additionally, we have discovered glass, slag and other materials.
We have a keen interest in stones we have found that are clear and seem to have a hologram within them.
Is this something you would be interesting in discussing with us?
Please find attached some photographs for your reference.
We look forward to your reply.
Rebecca Hainsworth & John Rogers, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Rebecca and John are professional excavators and have noticed patterns of iconic rock material through the course of their digging work in Queensland. They have noted some similarities with the proposed North American portable rock art featured on this blog.
In a preliminary review of a few photos of their finds, I can confirm the patterns they have detected are recognizable to me and will be to regular blog readers as well. This is a significant development in the effort to understand the world geographic distribution of portable rock art and I look forward to working with Bec and John to better understand what they are finding and where and in what association with other anomalous materials.
'Jupiter' looks toward the sky in classical Roman sculpture
On the back of the facial profile head I have circled a smaller, simple anthropomorphic face in line with many other examples. This smaller face is looking right, opposite of the profile face. Similarly, this may be an example of some kind of Stone Age proto-Janus, or "two-faced god" mythology. A Janus-like motif has also been described by Alan Day.
The two-faces of 'Janus'
- The dimensions of the pentagon create a 'skyward point' on the 'top' of the sculpture
- By virtue of the pentagon shape the sculpture has a flat base which accomplishes both a visual "ground" and creates a platform upon which the sculpture will stand upright and present the imagery for viewing
- The angle of the 'right side roof line' of the pentagon guides the eye sight line of the human face profile (direction the face is looking)
- The intersection of the right side lines results in a point where the small face looking right is located.
In fact, a blog reader posted a link to an "Animated handaxe" blog article this week on arrowheadology.com and the thread was CENSORED. It resulted in me responding to criticism (which is to be expected), misunderstanding and misinformation by making another a posting myself with some questions about a little bird figure. Ultimately, I was permanently BANNED from Arrowheadology for my questions and thoughts.
The significance of this sculpture is that the geometric and figurative aspects are fully integrated and were possibly inseparable concepts for the artist. Examples like this destroy the false dichotomy rock art scholars have set up by maintenance of these separate classifications. Their assumptions preclude their ability to recognize and interpret the art.
Various types of natural iron oxide compositions were routinely featured or exploited by stone age artists, likely for the dramatic contrast of the red/orange colors. Here, the 'eye' of the face profile looking left may have stained the stone directly underneath it. This would suggest this piece stood upright in this orientation in the open air for more than a brief period of time.
Iron Oxides in Global Systems
Possible motif five: 'Convergence/divergence of linear flow'
I notice a pattern created by the lines etched to remove the surface of the stone on the non-face parts of it. From the photo, the lines appear to have been created by use of a stone chisel and hammer. The lines flow away or toward the mid-point of the top left side edge of the pentagon.
- This could be an intentional recognition of the center of the top left edge (indicated by the star) and its relationship to the face profile edge line in a 'flowing lines motif' marking.
- The pattern could be a result of the physical demands of the raw stone and the directions the stone worker took to create the face edge from the series of perpendicular termination points of the carved lines.
- The lines could be the unconscious result of a human aesthetic motive which was expressed in the execution of the sculpture.
- The lines could refer to something symbolically we don't know about or even directionally like the 'earth' (lower left side), the 'air' section by the human face nose and mouth in the middle, and the 'sky' in the upper left corner.
Speculated 'Earth, Air, Sky' line flow sections on sculpture surface
Glass knife, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
This knife found by Rebecca and John may be supportive of the "Face on mid right edge of artifact" hypothesis for the pentagon sculpture. It looks like a natural dimple in the glass was recognized by the artist as a possible 'nose' and then the area around it was retouched to complete the other facial elements. This could be confirmed by magnified examination of the artifact.
I interpret a knife like this as a finger tool where the top segment of the index finger rested on the concave edge on top of the human face. The knife was then held by the thumb and ring ringers on each side where this would allow the 'face' to be seen through the thumb and index finger while using the knife. This would have the affect of making a "little pet face" to accompany the functional aspects of the piece. A piece like this, indeed, blurs the dichotomy of 'tool' or 'art' and shows how these classifications no longer well serve archaeology and art history scholars.
06 January 2017
'Obsidian human head profile looking left'
04 January 2017
A standing mammoth and lion head combination sculpture from The Old Route 66 Zoo suggests an Aurignacian-like belief system for North America
'Mammoth body silhouette facing left and lion head facing right'
Stacy Dodd and Rod Weber find, site #23JP1222
Illustration of the mammoth head and trunk curvature and the locations of the lion's 'eye' and 'mouth.' Please note there is likely some remaining dark pigment at the circled eye location.
This lion head is created in line with a scheme, or template, which has been identified for a number of suspected lion head sculptures on this blog. This, along with the mammoth-like form opposing it leads me to conclude this is an intended sculpture which was manufactured to stand upright in correct orientation. Note the attention given to shaping the lion's distinctive 'chin,' which also serves as the mammoth's 'rear leg.'
A reproduction of a North American lion head shown next to the Missouri mammoth and lion head sculpture for comparison
I propose sculptures like this combining mammoth and lion forms suggest a North American Pleistocene "belief world" somewhat analogous to one in the Aurignacian period (ca. 34,000 to 29,000 years ago) in central and southern Germany as described in a paper by Hussain and Floss (2015).
Sharing the world with mammoths, cave lions and other beings: linking animal-human interactions and the Aurignacian “belief world”
This paper outlines a “symbolic ecology” for the Aurignacian of Central and Southwestern Germany. Drawing upon data derived from cultural anthropology, psychology and zoobiology, we compare the sociocultural modalities of “managing” the recurrent theme of the mammoth and the cave lion with the encounter and interaction conditions underlying these two specific animal-human relations in the glacial landscapes of the European Early Upper Palaeolithic. We propose that being-in-the-world as highly mobile hunter-gatherers living in open and densely populated “animal-landscapes” strongly promotes non-Cartesian understandings of the animal-human interface, ultimately favouring notions of co-habitation, proximity and social intimacy. By reviewing key aspects of mammoth and cave lion ethology and socioecology, we point out the natural significance and relevance of these animals for human forager groups operating in the same environments. Moreover, we argue that this “natural significance” is directly reflected in the archaeological signature of the Central and Southwestern German Aurignacian that assigns these creatures a pre-eminent place in its material culture repertoire – for instance in craftsmanship, subsistence and settlement organisation and thus in areas deeply anchored in every-day practice. Although there is a clear convergence between the natural prominence of these animals and their sociocultural salience, different eco-behavioural profiles of mammoth and cave lion seem to have motivated varying modalities to engage with them materially. This, in turn, suggests different trajectories of constructing the animal-human interface and therefore a different “status” of both animals in the wider “Glaubenswelt” (belief world) of Aurignacian regional communities. The deep entrenchment of both animals in the sociocultural world as well as the rather unique interaction conditions they offer to human co-dwellers point to the social importance of mammoths and cave lions and thus to animistic and essentially relational ontologies. This, finally, demonstrates the blurring of the Cartesian boundary between animal and human domains and intro-duces the possibility of pondering aspects of “animal-personhood” in this part of the Aurignacian world. We conclude our survey by discussing some critical implications that arise when reading the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition from the perspective of animal-human interactions and the entanglement of ontologies and material signatures.
01 January 2017
'Pair of mammoth stone figures in right profile view'
Jason Lamont finds from his portable rock art site at Hardin County, Tennessee
'Human head figure facing left'
'Cobble with breaks made to affect a human head likeness'
Natural forces are typically moving rock material toward roundness in shape. When a stone like this 'cube' is found in a suspected stone artifact context, it should be regarded as a human product, maybe a tool and maybe even a geometric novelty for the maker.
31 December 2016
'Stone doll with head looking left'
Arkfeld Site, Clear Brook, Virginia
30 December 2016
Arkfeld Site, #44FK731, Clear Brook, Virginia
This sculpted stone is in a motif seen in many instances on this blog and in several from Arkfeld Site. This is a human head likeness in profile facing right with an expanded eye area. There have been stone removals to affect a curved nose and a tongue-like feature near the 'mouth.'
The human is simultaneously a mammoth profile figure facing right where the human and mammoth more or less share the same 'eye' feature in the stone. The human's 'nose' is also the 'trunk' of the mammoth figure. The mammoth's 'head bump' is the crest of the human's forehead in the depiction.
Also of probable significance, there is a small incised crosshatch pattern in the stone above the 'eye' hole which seems inspired by a wholly natural crosshatch feature of the stone formation itself.
22 December 2016
Arkfeld Site human head profile has deeply incised eye definition, a human face carving as its 'nose,' and a possible 'beaver' figure when it is rotated
'Human head profile facing right'
Adam Arkfeld find, Clear Brook, Virginia, Site #44FK731
Deeply incised and angular lines define the figure's eye area and provide quite complete confirmation of the intentional art enterprise evidenced at this remarkable archaeology site. Please note the lower right of this photo which includes the human's 'nose' and shows a human face which has been carved and included looking right on its surface.
Close up view of the human face looking right on the 'nose' of the larger human profile
When the human head profile is rotated 90 degrees left the top stone layer in the stone's relief appears to depict a beaver-like animal with faint remnants of its eye, nose and mouth still faintly visible on the stone.
Illustration of the animal face features on the stone.