14 February 2011
A Neanderthal-looking translucent cameo "lithophane"
Possible Neanderthal cameo from The Netherlands
L. J. Groen, an archaeologist from Maastricht, The Netherlands, made his artifact collection available to me for internet survey so I could learn more about stone working technologies and techniques in Europe. While looking at part of his collection (just a few of 30,000 artifacts) I came upon a suspected flint tool which seemed to have several correlations to the prominent features of a human facial profile and rotated the picture to optimal viewing orientation. The likely intent of the iconography becomes more obvious when interpretative lines are added to the photo to demonstrate all the ‘correct’ edges and angles created to make the face. The material is translucent toward the left side where all the facial detail is. I thus consider this piece a "Lithophane." There is a cluster of crystals on the forehead above the browline.
"And when I see what you made of my (artifact) ... it is remarkable. With your additional lines it really looks like a Neanderthal! And, made of Eluvium flint it dates from a possible Neanderthal period.... ( 50.000 - 58.000 BP)." -L Jimmy Groen
Here is a link to his web site: