27 May 2011
Rick Doninger identifies mobile art in south west Indiana paleolithic sites, artifact motif of lion atop prey is similar to Ohio find 250 miles distance
Worked flint with possible human infant, buffalo, lion and mammoth iconography. The images are seen in this order by rotating the stone counter-clockwise.
Rick Doninger collection, south west Indiana, USA
Frame around image of infant or fetus-in-womb face.
The possible face of a human fetus or an infant is depicted within this "cycle-of-life" art piece. The earlier post "Peter Cottontail has left the building" also has a similar face of what looks like a baby or fetus depicted on what is a suspected rabbit "prey-mother" fertility piece. Both of the faces are in the lower left corner of the zoomorphic image and in a "V" position as if depicting a pre-birth orientation.
Rick Doninger is an amateur archaeologist located in south west Indiana. Rick has identified a stone working industry that is not explained by mainstream archaeology. It has strong similarities to European Mousterian and Levallois technology traditions. Rick's conclusion, based on thousands of artifacts, is that he has identified a unique paleolithic presence in the American midwest. Rick is an active commentator on about.com's archaeology forum regarding the possibility of the older presence of humans in North America than currently accepted by mainstream archaeologists. After years of work and research, Rick is gaining the attention of scholars who are interested in the potential age of the artifacts, and apparent full-blown industry, he has identified.
Possible bison image in right profile, head in upper right of artifact.
Artifact is rotated 90 degrees here.
With I.Y. Yotova et. al. (2011) x-haplotype genetic data indicating extensive mating of Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans across Eurasia with evidence found into First American populations, as well as the Denver Museum of Nature and Science returning site dates at 30,000 BP in Nebraska (center of North America), the great possibility exists of connections to Europe and Neanderthal culture, tools and art.
Rick Doninger's photo rotated a total of 180 degrees.
A feline icon is perched at the top left of the artifact. The lion is resting its head on its left paw, seen in left profile looking to photo left.
(click photo to expand)
Ken Johnston's markup on Rick Doninger's photo. The white line indicates the "ground" the feline (presumably lion) is lying on. There may be proboscidean imagery here, where the lion is being depicted as lying across the mammoth's head. The black circle is a possible mammoth eye, the black line crossing Rick's hand is the curvature of the possible mammoth's trunk line in right profile view.
A lion in this same position (left profile, head resting on left paw) lying across a white bison head was identified by Ken Johnston on this artifact found by Pam Douglass in Licking County, Ohio.
In both the Ohio and Indiana examples, the lion's belly is just touching the "eye" of the prey animal.
Here is a direct link to the white bison head posting:
26 May 2011
Macario Solis collection, Washington state
Possible anthropomorphic head effigy in left profile view
Similar looking head effigy from Oregon featured in prior posting
A second head effigy identified by Macario Solis from Washington state
Simon Parkes collection, artifact from Clacton, England
putatively dated to 125,000 to 200,000 years BP
The last two photos could be self-images in flint created by Homo erectus, one from U.K. and one from Washington state, USA, and strikingly similar. Calico early man site and Valsequillo, Mexico, sites support the presence of Homo erectus in the Americas ca. 220,000 years BP.
J.E. Musch identified these head effigies in Europe in his 1990 paper 'Animal Farm"
Here is Mr. Solis' web site:
Posted by Ken Johnston at 11:10 AM
Mask-like stone has head effigy in place of right eye
Dennis Boggs collection, Irrigon, Oregon, Columbia River valley
Close up of right eye area
Close up of head effigy
Similar effigy example from collection of Jan van Es, Netherlands
A second head effigy from Netherlands, collection of Jan van Es
A bird icon with crested head, eye and beak is perched atop the head here. This is a recurring motif in many of these facial profile depictions.
Posted by Ken Johnston at 10:54 AM
14 May 2011
Woman, with driving stick in hand, riding a proboscidean (with bison, an egg in a nest and a micro-carved skull) exhibits European influence in symbols, theme and stone working
Woman, with driving stick in hand, riding proboscidean
(with an egg in a nest and a micro-carved skull)
Pam Douglass collection, Jacksontown, Licking County, Ohio.
Lithic material is from Flint Ridge, 5km from the artifact find site.
Interpretation is by Ken Johnston. Woman at top of figure stone in right profile, driving stick in hand, riding on the neck of a proboscidean. The head-on view of the elephant is represented by simple lines in the stone reflecting the wider ears at top of a face, narrowing into a trunk line toward the bottom of the depiction.
There is also a possible feline (lion) head in right profile just inter the woman's image. The elephant’s ears are also the rump (curved black line) and fertile belly (photo right, involving protruding edge of stone, red color) of the woman as if she in profiled standing position.
Note the muscles in the woman’s short forearm are expressed. The driving stick appears to be in motion via inclusion of a "sight line" in the sculpture, as is used in contemporary cartooning. The stick has a narrow base, widening toward the tip, also visually indicating this "motion."
The reverse side of the “red birthing/menses fertility” part of the stone is a micro-carved skull, perhaps symbolic of the return of ancestors through a new generation of kin. At macro perspective, the skull is also an egg in a beautifully foreshortened, enveloping bird nest.
Interpretation light mark-up of "woman riding proboscidean."
Woman, depicted two ways, as standing in right profile and as sitting across the elephant's neck
Blue= tip of driving stick being held by woman, as if in motion
Orange= elephant's right ear, woman's rump and legs
Pink= tip of elephant's trunk, woman's right foot when depicted in standing position
Red= elephant's left ear, birthing/menses depiction on protruding fertile belly
Light grey= woman's left knee as she is depicted sitting across the elephant's neck
Close up of woman's upper body. Click photo to expand.
Reverse side of artifact. Skull icon protrudes at far right.
Close up of skull microlithic representation.
Close up of skull microlith under slighty different lighting.
Artist uses pearly flint element to help depict a boney head.
(click photos to expand)
"Egg in nest" view of beautifully foreshortened, enveloping, nest.
Artifact with centimeter (cm) grid for scale.
Flint Ridge material, art piece found by
Pam Douglass, at Jacksontown, Licking County, Ohio.
The "skull" becomes the "cosmic egg, source of life" in this view of the sculpture. This piece may reflect a theme of the cycle of life and death and rebirth. Proboscideans are thought to have multi-levels of symbolism to Paleolithic peoples, including fertility and maternity. The horned bovid, skull, egg, woman riding animal, corpulant Venus-like depiction, are all known Paleolithic art icons.
Carving and bipolar reduction using an anvil and a hand held hammer, sometimes with an intermediate object or hand-held pebble or chisel, rather than free-handed knapping, was used to make the micro-carvings in this type of flint art. Bipolar reduction is sometimes not recognized as human-worked by those trained to look for conchoidal fractures, free-hand knapping and pressure-flaking reduction as is seen on many North American tools. Many iconic items have been dismissed by archaeologists for lack of understanding how the stone "could possibly" have been worked.
Here is a link to this subject of bi-polar reduction:
"Bipolar techniques in the Old Palaeolithic"
JWP van der Drift
The paper by Richard Wilson, with a link at the top of the right screen side panel, addresses bi-polar reduction and issues of intent in stone imagery.
rtifact finder Pam Douglass, Jacksontwon, Ohio, Licking County. Pam detected human workmanship on this of flint without clear use or intent to use as a tool.
Click photo to expand size and detail.
See bison details and illustration markup. At far left, even a short bison tail is represented n the flint (black lines highlight marks).
The woman's breasts are the nostrils of the bison, representing the breath of life. The bison's left eye is also the eye of the woman. Ears in red triangles, horns, eyes, nostrils and tail are marked up in this interpretive illustration. The bison appears to be in "defensive" position here. Having evolved with the scimitar cat (Homotherium) bison herds will form a circle with heads/horns lowered on the outside of the circle to create a defensive wall. This bison depiction also appears to be in the defensive position because of its stance, legs drawn together to minimize vulnerable surface area a cat could get a hold of.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC NEWSWATCH: The world's oldest optical illusion. Bison and elephant on spear thrower.
This Ohio figure stone exhibits these opportunities for a "gestalt shift" of visual attention to intentionally see alternating images in the sculpture.
Three stone "illusions" in this single artifact:
1) Woman's head is buffalo head, sharing an eye, her breasts are also the bison's nostrils
2) Standing woman profile is also woman sitting on elephant neck
3) On side two, the Skull is also bird egg in a nest at macro perspective
POST PUBLICATION FEEDBACK from Jan van Es, Netherlands archaeologist:
"Hoi Ken et al.,
A classic and beautiful depiction of a riding human being (woman) on a animal.
In this sculpture I see a horned animal with open mouth (only the head). So it.s a depiction of a "masculine head (horned animal-mostly a masculine symbol) being mounted sun=masculine, moon -feminine. My thought is horned animals, like bison-wisent-prehistoric ox etc are symbolic of the sun, mostly visible in separate sculptures of there animals a bump in the neck (half egg shape) and the horn can be seen as (slylistic) a bird and the half moon.
Together they form a complete egg-shape showing a feminine item. Maybe it's time to do an experiment in a line technique and to V shapes from a very famous sculpture? Your find is remarkable Ken!!!!"
The following interpretations and markups on the photos are made by Jan van Es, archaeologist from Netherlands who has been studying imagery in stone material from the archaeology sites he has investigated since 1971.
Mr. van Es' web site:
(The artifact was actually found by Pam Douglass, Jacksontown, Ohio. Interpretations in this post made by Pam Douglass, Jan van Es, Ken Johnston.)
Posted by Ken Johnston at 6:22 PM
10 May 2011
Two translucent "head with face" art pieces from Boukoul, Netherlands, presented as back-lighted lithophanes
From the collection of archaeologist Jan van Es, Netherlands
Artifacts from his site at Boukoul, Netherlands
This sculpture stands up on its designed base
Thank you Mr. van Es for your generosity with your photographs.
Posted by Ken Johnston at 10:34 AM
09 May 2011
by Allen V. Deibel, The StoneCat Collection, Canfield, Ohio
A dark brown striation is the next layer. Not only has it been ground to the oval that is the Iris, but notice the slight grayed look. The Quartz layer that formed the fleck was ALMOST ground away above the Iris. Ground to the interface between dark and light layers. This allowed the Ancient Artisan to chip a Pupil that was distinctly dark, to contrast with the Iris.
The thick Quartz layer that is the eye whites and the rest of the dark back of the cobble was ground to complete the image. The angle of the grind was adjusted to provide the appropriate amount of white and the dark side was ground so as to be occluded by the white. In hand this is uncannily realistic. The intent of the Artist realized.
Not obvious in these photographs is that the fleck in the eye is an abstract image of a feline visage. The last sight of the hapless buffalo captured in its eye, forever. This artifact illustrates more than an image but a philosophy. -Allen V. Deibel, The StoneCat Collection, Canfield, Ohio.
(Click this link for over 100 line drawings of figure stones in The StoneCat Collection, by Allen V. Deibel) http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz56/kenbjohn/Diebel%20Cat%20Drawings/
Posted by Ken Johnston at 6:17 PM
White bison (prey) shares crystal eye penetrating flint with feline (predator) depicted on reverse side
White buffalo head right profile with horn detail protruding
Artifact from the Pam Douglass collection, Jacksontown, Ohio
Multiple art pieces found by Pam and her grandson Connor
while hunting for points.
Eye penetrates the stone, allowing light to pass through crystals
Pam was ridiculed for suggesting the white buffalo head iconography, knowing she had multiple other examples of people and animals, on a site sometimes known as arrowheadism.com. A kind reader in another state suggested she contact me. Ironically, via the internet, Pam lives 2 miles from my home in Hebron, Ohio, and sells me my favorite potato salad at the corner market! Artifacts are Flint Ridge material, Licking County, Ohio, found at Jacksontown.
The feline in top/first photo is one of the repeated motif of "lion perched above, ready to pounce" which is seen in other artifacts as well.
click photo to expand
This piece may indicate a similar expression of an ideological value of a predator/prey depiction of "bison in the eye of the cat" as described by Allen V. Deibel in the above posting. Both Allen's and Pam's artifacts are from east Ohio.
White buffalo born May 12, 2011, three days after this post was made:
Feline head in right profile, relief on panel, Carter County,Tennessee.
Artifact viewed from an angle as if from "behind the cat"
A second artifact, interpreted as a human head in left profile view by Sherry Hill
(photo is blurred but imagery is still "clear")
Finding multiple pieces like this in close proximity, as Sherry has done, lends support to 'artistic intent' in the "human agency vs. nature-fact" question. More of Sherry's finds to be featured in the future. Thanks, Sherry!
Posted by Ken Johnston at 5:14 PM
02 May 2011
Translucent head-shaped flint nodule with worked face elements interpreted as a possible "Lithophane"
The likelihood that there were opportunities for "discovery" of this type of back lighting (holes in tents), which could have been used for translucent flint pieces such as this one, is addressed in Matt Gatton's paleo camera theory.
Close up view of the right eye when illuminated from behind as a "lithophane." It appears a black, pitch-like, substance was applied to the hand-ground eye socket and residue is still found in the crevaces.
click photo to expand
reverse side in broad light
reverse side of face, as illuminated as a lithophane
A stone which light could pass through would likely have been an object of great interest to people of long ago.