04 June 2011

France handaxe is a literal bi-face: human head profile on one side, baboon/macaque head on the other

Partial cordiform bifacial handaxe from France is a literal bi-face:
human head on one side, baboon/macaque head on the other side.  
Top left is baboon/macaque head, top right is human head.

This handaxe photo was located while browsing the internet looking at artifacts.  The artifact was posted "For sale" at a now defunct web site.  It was identified as being found just outside of Paris, France, and as being a Paleolithic handaxe.  It is possible to detect iconography in existing archaeological collections, even while browsing the internet. This, then, is an example of an iconographic tool.  Archaeologists should open up dated artifacts to examination by students of portable rock art for possible imagery or iconography identification.
Human head with marked up blue eye, white nose and red lips. I noticed a possible human face depiction based on a ground eye, protruding nose and a flaked mouth, forehead and chin.


  
When I studied the other photos I noticed a baboon or macaque type head depiction on the side opposite the human face.  The two images give context to each other, increasing the likelihood of artifactuality and intent to create the imagery in this piece.


  
Baboon/macaque head with marked up brow line, eyes, nose and mouth.


It looks as if the artist may have retained and utilized the rock cortex surface to depict the mouth area in a rougher, darker, material (inside the white triangle in above photo).  A visually foreshortened nostril may be depicted just above the upper right point of the white triangle.

The hamadryas baboon and human beings originate near each other in Africa. 
http://www.flamingoland.co.uk/park/mammals/66-hamadryas-baboon.html



Wild olive baboons lived on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain, until 2001. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_baboon
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php?topic=2837.0



Barbary Macaque from Gibraltar, Southern Iberian Peninsula
A Mediterranean character, from north Africa to south Europe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_macaque



The site with original handaxe photo, ITEM NO. FA-21
http://www.stoneageartifacts.com/html/Artifact-Hand%20Axes.html


-kbj

1 comment:

  1. wow cool piece! i was given a small flake of English flint only about 3/4 of an inch long that also looks like a profile of a face. it has a white patina and was found near Bristol UK.

    you might like my work, I'm a flint knapper from Canada. if you have time check out my blog: teenagecaveman.wordpress.com. I don't have any photos of the face on there yet but i could let you know when i do, if you're interested?

    the teenage caveman

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