19 September 2011
Tennessee laughing pebble identified by Sherry Hill is similar to Italian example described by pre-sculpture and paleoart author Pietro Gaietto
Tennessee laughing pebble identified by Sherry Hill is similar to an Italian example identified by Pietro Gaietto of Museum of the Origins of Man
Evidence of the artist's grinding is present to make two eyes and a nose on the face. The mouth may have a natural feature of a pebble but it now shows evidence of expansion by excavation and carving to create an ironic, laughing, expression. A second, small, eyes, nose and mouth composing a face may be seen in micro detail in the circle highlighting the work on the left eye of the figure stone.
Sherry Hill has found and identified several art pieces among the typical flint knives and points she finds on the surface in the Doe River valley, Carter County, Tennessee. In this view, the laugh expression could also be read as a giant scream or even a yawn.
American entertainer Jimmy Durante and his famous trademark "got'cha" facial expression (1893-1980)
Here, the artifact is shown on a 1 centimeter (cm) grid for scale
Carter County, Tennessee
"Fig. 4.22) Lithic sculpture. It represents a human head without the neck. Strong stylistic deformation in ironic sense, deduced from the large nose.
Size: Height cm. 12.
Place of origin: Tortona, Alessandria, Italy.
Material culture: Mousterian, but perhaps previous.
It comes from an ancient alluvium of the Scrivia Torrent; it is damaged, as there are no more external traces of working. But the traces are present in the recess that constitute the orbitale zone and the mouth. The human type seems an archaic Homo sapiens, but it does not have chin, and the forehead is little. The style lengthens the head vertically.
Collection Museum of the Origins of Man."