Denisovan Ancestry in East Eurasian and Native American Populations

28 October 2011

Skull effigy in micro art form

Skull effigy pebble, Licking County, Ohio, find by Ken Johnston

This "skull effigy pebble" was found in lithic debris at a suspected Archaic to Paleolithic period cultural site along the shore of modern Buckeye Lake, Ohio. The find site is visible from interstate highway 70 (I-70). The pebble is 1cm in size. It appeared to have been manuported to the site with other foreign stone material which was found in a concentration feature, such as a possible former dwelling floor, eroding from a rise in a plowed field. It was the only white colored stone of its kind found in the area. Its skull-like shape led to closer examination and I then noticed a possible face image which looks to have been humanly modified on a micro scale. The mouth is as if a little circle to depict, or in recognition of, a "moan." It may be part of the stone was naturally suggestive and a person in prehistory recognized its potential and "finished it off" by making a couple of modifications.

A find like this emphasizes the need for preservation and very close examination of all stone material- even tiny coarse stone pebbles such as this- found in archaeological sites. The micro-lithic Acheulean handaxes of Homo erectus at Bilzingsleben (see John Feliks, Phi in the Acheulian) reminds one of the possible intricate attention on a micro scale given to stone materials by artists of the past. These micro worked artifacts are too often missed and forsaken by archaeologists and collectors.

John Feliks link


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