28 September 2014

Two bird figures made of Vanport chert from Muskingum County, Ohio, have manufactured eyes in correct anatomical positions which confirms human intent to create flint sculptures

Bird figure #1 with eye detail
Ken Johnston find, Muskingum County, Ohio

Side 2, Vanport chert, Nethers variety

Side 2 and side 1

Eye detail highlighted 

Bird figure #2 with eye detail
Ken Johnston find, Muskingum County, Ohio

Side 2

Sides 1 and 2

Eye detail highlighted



The two bird sculptures seen with scale.

These two bird figures are among dozens in Vanport chert identified by this author. These observations continue to be dismissed by the Ohio professional and amateur archaeologist communities despite the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the flint working technologies and artistic creations of prehistoric Native Americans.

24 September 2014

Sleeping water bird sculpture from the Arkfeld site

Sculpture of long-billed bird with head turned back, 10cm
Arkfeld site at Clear Brook, Virginia, #44FK732


Mesopotamia, Weight in the Shape of a Sleeping Duck, c. 2000 - 1500 BCE, carved limestone, length 35.2 cm — an unusually large size, private collection, Europe. The massive and highly stylized bird is shown with a plump body and flaring tail, and easily transcends its original and somewhat prosaic function. The head, on an elongated neck, is turned to rest on the back. The simplified contours combine with the tactile surface invite comparison to sculptures by Constantin Brancusi and other modern sculptors.

Interpreted by Ken Johnston as a "duck with head turned back" limestone figure from the Arkfeld site, Clear Brook, Virginia, featured earlier on this blog. Compare this small figure to the boulder size expression of the same form at Great-Pampau, Germany, below. (click photos to open and compare)

Image and text capture Copyright (c) Ursel Benekendorff, web site Schafftwissen.de All Rights Reserved Ursel Benekendorff.

Handy version. "Preening water birds" motif described and documented by Ursel Benekendorff from c. 500,000 BP. Image Copyright (c) Ursel Benekendorff, web site Schafftwissen.de . All Rights Reserved Ursel Benekendorff.

23 September 2014

A zoomorphic figure with pebbles inserted as "teeth" with a horse figure near its mouth and a giant flint dagger incorporating a human facial profile

Zoomorphic stone identified by Jeff Vincent at Mammoth Springs, Arkansas

 Right profile view of zoomorph

Left profile view of zoomorph

Left profile view again with illustration of Jeff Vincent interpreted a horse-like figure at the zoomorph's mouth and a possible one-eyed face mask.

Other examples of small pebbles inserted into stone crevices as "teeth" have been seen on this blog and have been documented by Jan van Es of Roermond, The Netherlands. 

Van Es writes of Jeff Vincent's find here (personal communication): "This is a  polymorph top sculpture!!! The teeth are the same technique from the Beegden stone sculptures:) Many people think that water makes this item, but this is a technique from early humans." (Homo erectus, Beegden site at >400,000 BP).

Having one or two pebbles in a "mouth" like this might be attributable to coincidence but a mouth full of teeth from end-to-end and in line with other suspected stone figures makes an artist's deliberate action more likely. The "horse near mouth of teeth" is an interesting depiction as horse was a significant component of the North American Paleolithic diet.

Jeff Vincent noticed a small face icon as the "nose" of the horse, seen highlighted as the circle within the circle above. This kind of image-within-image is commonly seen in portable rock art.

A giant flint dagger discovered by Jeff Vincent at Mammoth Springs, Arkansas, among portable rock art. Archaeology will eventually accept that portable rock art can lead to sites which produce tools which have not been accounted for in the current taxonomies.

It seems there is a crude human facial profile incorporated into this dagger. Eye gash at top, nose protruding at far right and mouth gash at bottom. Tools which incorporate simple human imagery like facial profiles have been seen on this blog.

A metal blade from the Arkfeld site was interpreted as having a facial profile incorporated into it which led to its interpretation as a prehistoric, and possibly Paleolithic, piece of metal work.

Recent finds of Jan van Es from Beegden, The Netherlands

Interpreted by Jan van Es as a proboscidean profile figure facing left

Beegden, The Netherlands, recent finds by Jan van Es, estimated by tool technology context and glacial geology at Lower Paleolithic, >400,000 years before present.





Pin point at Beegden, The Netherlands, with River Maas to the east.

19 September 2014

A Texas mammoth and face mask combination figure stone along with two tools, a snarling flint and a quartzite bird

 David Boies find, Westlake, Texas
Mammoth form combined with face mask icon

Rather than accurate representation, Palaeoart is more so about recognition, perhaps the process of discovery, and inclusion of significant natural form. In a strong context of iconic objects in Westlake, Texas, this stone may be seen to contain an "element of an elephant" along with an abstracted human, feline or human/feline face mask. The mammoth with human form on the posterior is a North American portable rock motif already documented on this blog. (click photos to expand and toggle)

What may look like "visual noise" or "junk" or "just a rock" to some observers today may have been quite starkly perceived as significant by a peoples living in a more natural world without mass images and mass icon production and so many 90 degree angles.

Stone objects like this were likely serendipitous finds for culturally motivated artists. If a natural find suggested a mammoth and a face mask, it would be modified as necessary to satisfy the requirements of the artist. Here, there appear to be engravings to enhance the trunk of the animal and some kind of alteration to the stone to affect a mammoth eye in the anatomically correct position. The face mask image seems to have been assisted with some stone removal. The natural form presented to the prehistoric artist has been rectified according to cultural imperatives which may be somewhat understood by modern-day interpreters.

David Boies finds, Westlake, Texas, among the portable rock art and identified as possibly iconic tools. They may provide insight into the tool forms Archaeology might look for in its search for the earliest Americans.

A snarling flint

Zoomorphic flint imagery identified by Mr. Boies would not have been lost on prehistoric peoples in the area who seemed to collect such objects.

Westlake, Texas, small quartzite bird figure with possible grinning human face configuration on its back, identified by David Boies.

17 September 2014

Arkfeld site portable carved grid pattern includes two circles-within-circles linked by a meandering line

Limestone with a carved grid pattern identified by Adam Arkfeld
Clear Brook, Virginia, site #44FK732

Several of the horizontal lines in this orientation have small uniformly spaced markings on them. The grid along with these markings would seem to provide all the necessary variables of combinations and arrangements for full expression of a complex written language.

Ken Johnston generalized illustration of the kind of incised grid pattern including small marks which may be observed on the Arkfeld site artifact.

An analysis of the grid carving from Gorham's Cave, Rock of Gibraltar, dated to c. 39,000 BP, revealed by Clive Finlayson in September 2014

View of side 3



This abraded and incised stone from the Arkfeld site was featured earlier on this blog. It has incised lines radiating from a circle feature like seen on the incised stone featured in this post. This is a documented later Acheulean marking motif.