19 July 2011

Relative ubiquity of portable rock art among crude tools in Eastern North America demonstrated by informal sampling of West Virginia creek bed

Duck head right profile.
 
Found in association with hard stone tools in Shade Creek at Ansted, Kenawah County, West Virginia. Finds and interpretation by Ken Johnston.

Find location is a few miles from the confluence of the New and Gauley rivers, which together form the Kanawah River, an Ohio River tributary. Despite its name, the New River is one of the oldest rivers in the world.

In an informal surface sampling of approximately 30 meters in length of the creek bed, in the Skaggs/Lucas families' hollow at Ansted, dozens of stone tools and two bird head sculptures were found in about two hours of surveying for stones which evidenced apparent human modification. Tool photos are included here to demonstrate context of the portable rock art finds. The second bird head sculpture will be featured in a separate posting on this blog.
 

Duck head reverse side with scale

Duck head features an 'eye" in bas-relief in the anatomically correct position.


View from above.  The "bump" seen at the peak of the stone in this photo is the duck's bas-relief eye.  Two round nostril divots may be seen on the top of the duck bill on the left side of the photo above and illustrated below with green circles.


Detail of the tip of the duck bill as seen from above looking down.


When the view of the artifact is turned upside down from the duck view, the sculpture transforms into another bird in whole body form, not just the head.  The duck's mouth serves as a tail feathering representation when seeing the sculpture in this whole bird view.
Upside-down duck head side 2 also looks like a second whole bird integrated with the duck head.

Knife found in the 30 meter sample area that also produced two bird head sculptures, including the duck in this post

Knife side 2

Knife as likely held in use

Hand axe, convex side

Percussion pitting on reverse of hand axe

Hand axe as held

Awl/perforator type tools worked to points

Reverse sides of points


Detail of reduction with possible intent to leave a bulb or knob to assist grip (seen as the rounded form in lower right of tool).

An abrading block


-kbj

No comments:

Post a Comment