15 January 2012

Iconicity present in additional objects from the context of the Belgian Kempen stone face (dated 450,000 to 300,000 years before present)

Iconicity present in additional objects from same context as the Belgian Kempen stone face (450,000 to 300,000 BP)

The discovering archaeologist, Jimmy Groen, who is a stone technology specialist, indicates the eye concavities are natural features of this stone.  The overall shape of the piece may indeed have been worked to make the final head shape and provide a sharp working edge.  Please see the immediate 3 prior postings for more information about the Kempen stone face artifact from this same context.

Another view of the same object with "iconicity."  In his 2011 book, "The Human Condition," rock art scholar Robert G. Bednarik writes "Iconicity is the property of a marking or shape that provides visual information recognized by most contemporary humans as resembling the form of an object (pp 58)"



A second view of the object with "iconicity," mouth and eye chipping evident

Not so much iconicity here for most people.  In this view, most people do not perceive anything which triggers our human facial recognition facilities easily.  So this view then "fails" the definition for iconicity. To my eye as a student of portable rock art, I can detect what appear to be two worked eyes and a broad smile which I highlight in the below illustration.

Ken Johnston has marked up the original photo to highlight a quasi-anthropomorphic face which may be interpreted from this view of the object.


-kbj

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