29 March 2015

Colorado animal head in petrified wood with worked eye, nose and mouth is likely symbolic of the North American Lion

"Animal head," Chris Schram find, Westminster, Colorado, in context of dozens of figurative portable rock art creations. The eye, nose and mouth have flake scars which indicate this is a sculpted artifact and not a freak of nature.

Reconstructed illustration of what the North American Lion head may have looked like. The animal became extinct at the end of the Ice Age about 10,000 years ago. Please note the "squared off muzzle" which may also be seen in the Chris Schram animal head figure.

Ceramic mammoth and lion head figures, Dolni Vestonice, Moravia, Czech Republic. Dated to ca. 25,000 years before present.

Possible mammoth figure identified by Chris Schram along with the possible lion head. The precision and smoothness of the ceramic figures is contrasted against the rougher imagery resulting from work in petrified wood. The importance is these animals were significant enough to both Europeans and North Americans in the Ice Age that they committed the imagery to objects of art.

28 March 2015

Colorado bird figure in petrified wood has similar morphology to German bird figure dated to ca. 200,000 years ago

Chris Schram collection, Westminster, Colorado

Side 2 of the Colorado bird figure shares a similar morphology to the below figure from Germany. These may have been created using a related idealized artistic scheme or template rather than just coincidentally reflecting the natural bird form.

Germany bird sculpture, ca. 200,000 years before present along with the Colorado example identified by Mr. Schram

Photograph © Walther Matthes. Matthes, W. (1969). Published in Eiszeitkunst im Nordseeraum. Otterndorf, Gr: Niederelbe-Verlag; (1964/1965). Bild 62. Mousterian context (Neanderthal) artifact from Germany as seen at Originsnet.org

23 March 2015

Bird sculpture with split tail feathers from Arkfeld Site, #44FK732, Clear Brook, Virginia

Bird sculpture from Arkfeld Site, #44FK732, Clear Brook, Virginia.

The artist exploited white band inclusions through the blue stone to create split tail feather imagery. The sculpture stands upright on a flat base.



Germany bird sculpture, ca. 200,000 years before present

Photograph © Walther Matthes. Matthes, W. (1969). Published in Eiszeitkunst im Nordseeraum. Otterndorf, Gr: Niederelbe-Verlag; (1964/1965). Bild 62. Mousterian context (Neanderthal) artifact from Germany as seen at Originsnet.org

Gibraltar archaeologist and naturalist Clive Finlayson stated "Neanderthals were very intelligent, with a very large brain capacity. We have found remains of up to 150 different bird species which give clue to a special relationship with birdlife. If we consider that in Europe there are currently about 400 species of birds, this suggests that they hunted more than 25 percent of species."

The article continues: "Artifacts have shown that not only did they eat birds, but they then went on to use bones as adornment. Raptor bones were found with carved notches, these bones were selected based on colour. The skills were not as elaborate as the American Indians, but the bones, feather and tendons found were clearly used for an aesthetic purpose."

20 March 2015

Left eye missing face mask on a cobble from Texas has glassy right eye

"Left eye missing face mask on a cobble" David Boies collection, Austin, Texas

The artist encountered a glassy inclusion in the stone while working this channel to make the right eye feature and left it there while excavating around it. It helps create an illusion of moisture in the stone eye.

19 March 2015

Brighton, U.K., handaxe is also a subtle human head portrait in left 3/4 profile

"Animated handaxe" identified by Ken Johnston in the collection of the Brighton Museums is attributed to Homo neanderthalensis

This handaxe has been carefully worked to express the portrait of a person in left 3/4 profile. The person's head depiction includes a neck, chin, mouth line, nose, cheek, brow, a closed left eye and an artistically shaped head returning to the nape of the neck. Brighton Museums, Brighton, U.K.

Arkfeld site carved limestone bar is demarked by joined lines and includes bird and feline imagery

Adam Arkfeld find, Clear Brook, Virginia, site #44FK732 (click to expand)

This limestone bar was shaped by squaring off and trimming its edges. It evidences 3 or 4 incised lines which are joined to demark the very top part of the stone in this orientation. Adam discovered the carved image of a bird and I discovered a feline head depiction under the bird- as if the bird was sitting on a "lion head egg."  "Lion present at birth" is an art motif described earlier on this blog.

Illustration of the demarcation line segments (blue), a bird figure (yellow) and a feline face (orange).

Closer view of the bird sitting on the feline head (egg)

Human shaped objects identified by Adam Arkfeld at the site

17 March 2015

"Left eye missing" face mask together with etched standing human line figure make the case for a cultural artifact

"Left eye missing" Paleolithic portable rock art sculpture identified by David Boies at Austin, Texas

This stone figure may appear natural-looking to many observers. It was selected as a raw cobble because of its suitable starting form to the artist. The mouth may have been created by a large area of stone removal. On close examination the nose has two nostril divots which is an element of other portable rock art seen on this blog. The "missing" right eye was created by a forceful directed blow to chip out what would be the eye's socket. A visually distorting line was made down the left side of the face. Though natural-looking at first appearance, given the portable rock art context Mr. Boies has identified this is a stereotypical form for a face mask like this. It has been my hypothesis that these masks depict the symbolic time of horror (death) when a lion takes a bite out of the human head.


On side 2 of the right eye missing face mask David Boies identified an etched line figure of a standing human in left profile. A chip in the stone is exploited as the "head" of the human figure.

The elements of the face mask combined with the human line figure make the case for this being a cultural artifact.

(Left) Photograph © Walther Matthes. Matthes, W. (1969). Published in Eiszeitkunst im Nordseeraum. Otterndorf, Gr: Niederelbe-Verlag; (1964/1965). Bild 62. Mousterian context (Neanderthal) artifact from Germany at left as seen at Originsnet.org for motif comparison to Texas example identified by David Boies.

13 March 2015

A lion/man pebble figure stone from Austin, Texas, art context evokes similarity to lion/man sculpture figuration seen at El Juyo cave in Spain

Lion/man head worked pebble found by David Boies, Austin, Texas, was found in strong portable rock art context near Austin. 4 x 4cm

Paleolithic art and early sculpture author Pietro Gaietto has made an excellent illustration of the interpreted human and feline features as they get "mixed" in the interpretation of the El Juyo, Spain, cave religious altar-sculpture. 

Austin, Texas, figure interpreted as a mixed human and feline in a similar art visage as seen in El Juyo cave, Santander, Spain

10 March 2015

Mother and child sculpture from The Netherlands, collection of Jan van Es

Mother and child sculpture, Beegden, Netherlands, age >250,000 years BP
Collection of rock art researcher Jan van Es of Roermond, Netherlands

Jan van Es illustration of two eyes and a mouth composing the head of the baby being cradled

 Click photos to expand

At right is another very similar mother and child sculpture discovered by Mr. van Es which was featured in an earlier posting on this blog.


06 March 2015

San Saba County, Texas, lion head figure depicts a crouching human inside it by an alteration of its translucent aspect

 Lion head figure, Chris Smith find, San Saba County, Texas

Illustration of the manufactured eye on this lion head in left profile and expansion of the natural vein feature to make the mouth

Side 2. Chris noticed the translucent aspect of the stone and what appeared to be a worked area of selective stone removal to leave a back lighted image of a human  crouching or crawling on all fours. Chris writes:
"I began examining this particular piece and it looked to be translucent in most areas. At that point I decided to place a light source behind it and this is the result. I see a figure of a primitive man seemingly crouched or squatting position looking out and upward from his shelter. There is much more going on in this piece however. There are many tiger like attributes as well as a buffalo and human head profiles, even a large sabre tooth which is also the top of his shelter and a snake along the top ridge. This piece, to me, is the most amazing that I have ever seen because the figure of the man is carved into the rock."

 The human image is interpreted as being depicted as "inside" the lion's head.

Another lighting perspective on the crawling human

Close up of the crouched or crawling human inside the lion's head

 Interpreted as a grazing bison in right profile by Chris Smith, feline head profile looking left

 Notes by Chris Smith

Chris Smith mastodon facing right combined with human head profile facing left found along with bird figures was featured in an earlier posting on this blog and establishes an art context for this lion head figure.

At left is a flint lion head figure from Buckeye Lake, Ohio, also with a manufactured eye, which was made on a similar template or scheme to Chris Smith's Texas example.

Chris's find here depicts a lion head with a human depicted inside, as if having been swallowed by the lion. This same depiction was noted at Flint Ridge, Ohio, in an earlier posting on this blog and helps validate Chris's interpretation of the back lighted "crouching human" imagery in this piece.

04 March 2015

"Right eye open, left eye missing" Paleolithic art motif may have persisted until recent times in lost city in Honduran mountains

A sculpture from a recently located city of ruins in an isolated part of Honduras

An artifact lays partly exposed amongst the ruins (Dave Yoder/National Geographic)
"Mr Fisher said that the most striking discovery was the head of what appeared to be "a were-jaguar", possibly depicting a shaman in a transformed, spirit state. The artefacts are believed to date from 1000 to 1400AD."
Interestingly, this sculpture is interpreted by the finders as a mixture of feline and human images. The sculpture depicts the face with a clearly represented right eye and the left eye as more of a blank space, or symbolic of a missing left eye.

This, along with feline aspect lends support the idea that this art motif in Honduras is an example of persistence of the imagery and probably related mythology from the Lower Paleolithic to almost recent times 1000 to 600 years ago.

I think the extreme isolation of the people in Honduras and their contention with big cats such as jaguars may explain why this motif is seen here to almost historical times.

The ruins of an ancient civilisation that were neighbours to the Maya  Photo: Dave Yoder/National Geographic

03 March 2015

India human head profile appears to have worked facial features including two nostrils in correct location

From India, human head with eye, two nostrils and mouth, Thath Chanuhacha collection, Bangkok, Thailand.

The facial features appear to be worked but this would need be confirmed by a petrologist. The two nostrils in anatomically and artistically correct location suggest this piece was indeed humanly worked.

28 February 2015

"Right eye open, left eye missing" Eurasian Paleolithic rock art motif identified in Arkansas among now dozens of North American examples

"Right eye open, left eye missing" Eurasian Paleolithic art motif found in Arkansas

Human head on a cobble, Mammoth Spring, Arkansas, Jeff Vincent collection. The very strong art context of the find and its stereotypical form and appearance argue for its artifact status.

Human agency would be confirmed by careful scientific examination of this stone but Archaeology does not want to open up any new cans of worms because it does not operate like a science. It would rather maintain the status quo and preserve dogmas and research budgets than generate new knowledge, despite its reliance on the good public for almost all of its funding. Is Archaeology serving itself or humanity's need to know more about its past?


"Right eye open, left eye missing" Paleolithic art motif found in the Netherlands in a context >300,000 years before present. Collection of Jan van Es.


(Left) Photograph © Walther Matthes. Matthes, W. (1969). Published in Eiszeitkunst im Nordseeraum. Otterndorf, Gr: Niederelbe-Verlag; (1964/1965). Bild 62. Mousterian context (Neanderthal) artifact from Germany at left as seen at originsnet.org for motif comparison to Arkansas example at right identified by Jeff Vincent.

Either Neanderthals made it to North America or other humans carrying their art and tool traditions were present here.