27 January 2015

Ohio mammoth sculpture including a horse head image makes a galloping sound when manipulated and is comparable to France examples

Ken Johnston find, Licking County, Ohio, 10 x14 cm.


Sculpted Vanport chert which has mammoth, horse and human imagery, produces a galloping horse sound when stroked rhythmically and has a smoothed area evidencing polishing from human manipulation in the same way in the past.

Note the human face profile facing skyward (chin at upper left of stone in this view).

For this interpretation I am indebted to fellow amateur archaeologist Denis Argaut who has already discovered and described these kinds of sound producing rocking horse sculptures in France and shared them with me and readers of this blog. Without his work and correspondence I could not make this interpretation. Thank you Denis.

The Ohio sculpture may be regarded as recording the sound of a galloping horse by way of engineering of the bottom of the stone and points where it comes into contact with a surface. It is directly comparable to acoustic portable rock art sculptural material identified by Argaut in France. When the correct "play back instructions" are known, that is, when the interpreter knows how to manipulate the sculpture in the correct fashion required using the right spot on the stone, an accurate reproduction of a horse's galloping gait may be heard.

When the sculpture is stood upright on its base it is balanced like a punching clown. It can be pushed or bumped from one side and it won't fall over and then comes back to its resting position. In this process, the base of the sculpture produces a knocking sound on a flat wood or stone surface. When paying attention to how I bumped the mammoth figure I was able to make short galloping horse sounds a few times.

Upon examination I located a heavily polished spot on the stone which seemed likely to correspond to prior repeated contact with the sculpture. I positioned the stone to present the polished spot for my thumb to push and I am able to make the galloping horse sound very nicely. I will certainly need more practice to be able to reproduce the galloping sounds as well as Denis Argaut has done but he has many hours of practice on several sound producing sculptures from France.

I searched for a suspected horse image for quite some but was not able to find one. I was expecting one bigger than the one I eventually noticed. While looking at my thumb on the stone, I noticed a small horse head figure rocking back and forth as I pushed the mammoth. The horse head figure is also the eye of the mammoth of the sculpture. The polished area which one pushes on to make the galloping sound is on the back of the horse figure. The horse head itself exploits a very small inclusion of a quartz crystal for its eye which sparkles in directed light.

It is known that elephants are able to detect thunderstorms and movements of migrating herd animals many miles away from the sound vibrations they make. It is possible the horse, the galloping sound, the mammoth and the two human facial profiles, one with a crystal pocket for an ear, are somehow related to this natural phenomenon.


Side 1

Side 2

Side 1 up close with illustrations

Side 1 up close with horse leg and thigh represented in full forward, energy-loaded, position highlighted. (PUSH HERE) indicates the polished area which is worn smooth by prehistoric handling of the stone.


Horse head and body and polished area above the horse's back

Subtle left and right human head profiles are incorporated into the mammoth/horse sculpture. (click photos to expand).

Pocket of quartz crystals in the flint on the bottom center of the sculpture was likely a motivating factor in the selection of this raw material for a greater symbolic expression. Does the crystal formation resemble a human ear? Was this ear noticed in the stone age and did it inspire the artist to include mammoth imagery in the stone in recognition of the animal's hearing prowess? Did it inspire the artist to make an acoustic sculpture which makes the sound of a galloping horse? Yes, yes and yes.

 
A human face mask on the sculpture is in the known Palaeoart motif of "right eye open, left eye missing" as described by others and seen in many examples to date on this blog. This mask, when considered with all the other iconic features of this stone, helps confirm its human manufacture.  This is a Lower and Middle Paleolithic art motif and its existence in North America needs to be explained by archaeological science.



Video of Ohio mammoth sculpture featuring a horse image and making a galloping sound when manipulated (Ken Johnston interpretation)

The horse head is seen right above the Play> button and my thumb is placed on the polished spot which is on the horse's back. The sculpture is placed on a sheet of paper on top of a marble table with a backdrop. When manipulating the sculpture to make the galloping sound, it moves forward on a secure surface. With the paper underneath, it scoots the paper and backdrop board back, demonstrating how each push back will move the horse forward one step. It looks like the camera is pulling back but it is the paper moving back under the movement of the sculpture.



Video of France mammoth sculpture featuring a horse image and making a galloping sound when manipulated (Denis Argaut interpretation)

The horse head is seen just to the left of the Play> button above. This sculpted rock was discovered by Denis Argaut of France. Denis has identified a horse head figuration seen in the upper left part of the stone. Ken Johnston earlier interpreted the overall shape of the stone to be symbolic of a mammoth body in right profile. Play the video as Denis demonstrates how the sculpture produces a galloping horse sound like the Ohio example.

Here is a view of the horse head Denis located on the posterior of the France mammoth sculpture which produces a galloping horse sound when manipulated.

This stands as a replication of the observations made by Denis Argaut. The Ohio and France acoustic sculptures are undoubtedly tied to the same Pleistocene cultural art tradition which was present on at least two continents.
"Hello Ken, You have made a very good job ! May  be the head of the horse find précisions with the SHADOWS...Have you tried to catch the slowly sound of this horse ?...  Greatfull !  Denis"

Human facial profile seen on the Ohio sculpture in beautiful Flint Ridge material, Vanport formation chert.

23 January 2015

"The Bird Mask of Oléron"

 Henri Valentie find in an art and tool context, Île d'Oléron, France

This mask fits a human face and indicates it may have been functional as well as a visually significant item for its Lower Paleolithic audience. It is likely also presenting bird imagery where the bird is perched at the top of the forehead of the mask's face facing left in this view.
"I present this mask found on the island of Oléron. Eyes have been worked by man. I found this mask on a lower paleo site on the same site as my previous findings. -Henri"

 "The Bird Mask of Oléron," reverse side, Henri Valentie collection.

Please note the "X" marking in the anatomically correct position for a mouth on the face. This helps confirm the stone is an artifact of the past.

21 January 2015

Human head figure from China has zero provenance but is recognized as artificial by portable rock art investigator Jan van Es

"China human head figure," Thath Chanuhacha collection, Bangkok, Thailand

This human head figure comes with no provenance other than it was found in China. It was acquired by collector Thath Chanuhacha who is a friend of Archaeology of Portable Rock Art. I detected what appears to be human modification on several areas on the stone, especially the eye details. I sent a copy of the photo to portable rock art investigator Jan van Es of Roermond, Netherlands, who replied as follows:
"This artefact is older than Acheulean cultures,  I think that homo erectus 1 million-1,5 million is the maker. I have from Beegden and Boukoul the same images, its comes from the oldest phase, Very interesting piece Ken!!!"  Jan van Es, January 21, 2015
Palaeoart at Two Million Years Ago? A Review of the Evidence, James B. Harrod


“Zinj” - Paranthropus boisei

“Zinj” is the name given to a 1.8 million-year-old skull of the Paranthropus boisei species found in 1959 in the Olduvai Gorge of Tanzania.  Named after the original classification of the species, Zinjanthropus boisei, Zinj was the first one to be found belonging to this group of hominids.  Paranthropus boisei lived in Eastern Africa from about 2.3 to 1.2 million years ago. They had a brain volume of about 500 to 550cc and they would have eaten seeds, plants and roots which were dug up using sticks of bones. Due to the strong jaw that would have also been used for cracking nuts, Zinj is also known as the ‘Nutcracker Man’. - See more

The slight bifurcation of the sculpture's head at the center top of the skull may be a reflection of an early hominid head form as seen in the similar indent in the top of this Paranthropus boisei reconstruction.

Ken Johnston interpretation of a one-eyed winged bird and human face imagery combined from the two sides of the figure's skull. The bird is "zooanthropomorphic" with both a beak and a human-like mouth.

19 January 2015

"Topplehead" anthropomorphic PAC-MAN like stone stands upright in a perfectly precarious position and may be symbolic of a breaching whale

Dennis Boggs find near Boardman, Oregon, identified as an anthropomorphic head sculpture by Dennis in this iteration of a typology he identified in his collection.

Profile view of anthropomorphic head sculpture with scale



In this short video, the stone topples over after a puff of air is applied from an off-camera air can, demonstrating the tolerances to which it is balance-engineered.

-Interpretation of the "engineered to balance precariously" aspect by Ken Johnston, curator of the Boggs collection.  The stone can balance and topple over with the slightest movement or vibration or force applied to it as in the example of the air puff here.

-This is a PAC-MAN like anthropomorphic stone engineered to the tipping point. The PAC-MAN stone sculptures have been identified by several North American amatuer archaeologists in addition to Dennis Boggs.

-Prepared tripod base allows forward roll of stone

-Large, sculpted "eye" area on one side

-Open mouth anthropomorphic imagery, as in a shout or laugh. Possible breaching whale imagery.

-Similar to other PAC-MAN like stones identified by Dennis Boggs in the Columbia River Valley.

-Similar to a stone identified as a balanced laughing stone figure or "Bobblehead" from the Boggs collection. The bases on the two sculptures have both been engineered in the same way.



Profile views of the PAC-MAN like anthropomorphic balancing stone. Could it have been a novelty or a toy? Or an earthquake early warning detector?

My hypothesis is that this object represents a whale figure which has been given a smiling human quality and that it stands and falls over in a symbolic demonstration of the whale breaching and smacking the water. To make the stone topple, the puff of air from the air can must be applied to the approximate area of the whale figure's "blow hole."

Another Oregon whale sculpture has already been described from the Boggs collection.









Please note the anthropomorphic smiling quality on the face of this breaching humpback whale off the Pacific North American coast.  Compare the "smiles" of the whale and the whale sculpture. This human-like quality in the gigantic animal was realized in the manufacture of this Oregon portable rock art sculpture.

"Human head mixed to animal head" is a primary sculpture motif of the Lower and Middle Paleolithic according to Pietro Gaietto:

13 January 2015

The lost "Lost Valley" site #36CU190 produced a wolf head sculpture with a human head joined on its neck among other diagnostic art pieces

The Lost Valley site, #36CU190, South Central Pennsylvania, Gary Yanonne and Jeffrey Kottmyer, 2003. Wolf head looking right and human head looking left joined to the back of its neck.

The archaeology establishment was not able to understand or process the information which was being provided by the dedicated amateurs of The Lost Valley project. In a review of the findings which are over 10 years old now, I see a site producing recognized portable rock art motifs. However, the land the site is situated upon has been sold and archaeological research has been abandoned.

It is indeed painful to read the narratives of Paul Raber, President, and Philip A. Perazio, Past President,The Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Inc. in their Newsletter Winter 2004-2005. It ironically becomes a demonstration of how the earliest archaeological sites in North America are squandered by persons who sit on dogmas from positions of authority and can't think outside of terms they already know. Their "Judge, Jury and Executioner" article in the newsletter ended the ability of the site owner to gain further academic or professional archaeological attention. A likely pre-Clovis site called Lost Valley was ripe for study fully 10 years ago but all its information is now in the lost valley of Archaeology officialdom. 

Illustration of interpretation by Gary Yannone, The Lost Valley project.



A classic paleolithic flying water bird sculpture from The Lost Valley site, 36CU190, studied by rock art scholar Arsen Faradzhev, Moscow State University, Russia.

This mammoth ivory figurine from Hohle Fels, Germany, is of a water bird of some sort. Its pieces were recovered in 2001 and 2002 near the bottom of the Aurignacian sequence. The sculpture depicts a water bird, perhaps a diver, cormorant or duck. The figurine measures 47 x 13 x 9 mm. The eyes are easily recognizable and the beak has a conical, pointed form. The legs of the bird are short, but they lack feet, perhaps because to represent the bird in flight. The tail extends below the legs and is illustrated as flat. The back is etched with a series of distinct lines representing feathers.

The German waterbird figurine was recovered from levels that date between 31,000 and 33,000 years old.

Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, artifact in a world Paleolithic art tradition was ignored by American archaeologists including Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution who met personally with Dr. Faradzhef. 

Bird eye analysis. Excerpt from Faradzhev/Yannone Report presented to IFRAO in India:
"Through the use of special equipment, we discovered jewelry detail work of the ancient artist to create the image of the eyes as well as the whole image of the head of the bird which is 2 cm long, 1 cm wide and 0.5 cm thin. We discovered that at least six lines were carefully scarred by a very sharp instrument around the image of the ball of the eye 0.1 cm diameter. The Lost Valley has other similar artifacts of Stone Age slate rock images of birds with artificial details of eyes."
Vallis Ante Artis, Amazon paperback, by Gary S. Yanonne, et al. (2011)

09 January 2015

Horse head with human face profile joined on its neck

Ronda Eldridge find, Bee House, Texas.

Ronda thought this might be a deer head figure but I interpret this as a nice example of a horse head. I give importance to the bump between the muzzle and the neck and interpret it to be symbolic of a horse's large jaw. This portable rock art piece was found in a 10 by 15 foot area yielding many other significant iconic stones. Another art piece was found at this site which incorporated a simple human face profile into the posterior of a bird figure.

Ken Johnston interpretation of a simple human face left profile incorporated into the back of the horse's neck. 

Paleolithic art author Pietro Gaietto has described animal heads joined with human heads as one of the 8 significant Lower and Middle Paleolithic sculpture motifs.

07 January 2015

Bird-form knife from Bee House, Texas, is among many examples already described

This is a bird-form knife identified by Ronda Eldridge from a small concentrated area on her property yielding iconic lithic materials. Illustrations by Ronda Eldridge

Side 2 of the Ronda Eldridge bird knife from Bee House, Texas

Flint Ridge, Ohio, bird-form knife identified by Ken Johnston in an earlier posting

Flint Ridge, Ohio, bird-form knife identified by Ken Johnston in an earlier posting

The Bee House, Texas, finds and the Flint Ridge, Ohio, finds are separated by a distance of 1066 miles

04 January 2015

American amateur archaeologists describe worked flint bird head figures but are ignored by the archaeology establishment like Boucher de Perthes was over the same issue 165 years ago

Ronda Eldridge has found dozens of bird head figures in a small area on her property at Bee House, Texas and illustrates one here. 

Many American amateur archaeologists describe worked flint bird head figures but are ignored by the archaeology establishment like Jacques Boucher de Perthes was over the same issue 165 years ago. 

Archaeologists summarily dismiss such observations by amateurs to their own detriment: a discipline "stuck on stupid" with regard to portable rock art for 165 years.

To them, American archaeology stands alone in its own silo separate from recognized cultural activities in the rest of the world. One would think after Boucher de Perthes' vindication on the issue of stone tools associated with extinct animal remains he might be paid due respect for his observations of pierres-figures, or figure-stones, alongside the tools. He specifically described bird head figures yet no archaeologists think this is a question worth pursuing in North America despite their prolific existence here.

These bird head figures suggest a possible Acheulean en lato sensu human presence in North America.

Two sides of a turkey head figure stone featured earlier on this blog. Ronda Eldridge collection, Bee House, Texas.

Ansted, West Virginia, find identified as a duck head figure by Ken Johnston featured in an earlier posting

The duck head becomes the full body  of a bird when rotated 180 degrees. What was the duck's mouth becomes the tail feathers on the full bird.

Sculpted limestone plaque of a bird head and neck figure found right with the duck head figure at Anstead, West Virginia, by Ken Johnston, featured earlier on this blog

"Common sense tells us that the primitive people who made haches and tools were able to make figures... ...As to the Symbols and Figures, although I have gathered of these some types which may be seen at my house to-day, numbering about fifty analogous shapes on which the human work is evident, I have converted very few people, and of the number, not one Englishman. Why-they say to me-are you the only one who finds Figure Stones ? Have they never been found anywhere else than at Abbeville ?-and-mention one collection besides your own in which they have been seen ...To-day, Sir, your examples will be questioned, I do not say that I shall have gained my cause, but Truth will have made one more step, and will strike forcibly by coming from two sides." 
Museum of the Origins of Man, HOMAGE TO JACQUES BOUCHER DE PERTHES, (1788-1868)