04 March 2012

Examination of "Old Route 66 Zoo" site's suspected figures establishes it as a prehistoric sculpture mega-site

Stacy Dodd's find from south west Missouri, Old Route 66 Zoo site
(click photos to expand)

Confirmed artifact by a top national master flintknapper and stoneworking expert.  From central Ohio, it has a similar construction to the Missouri find

Please compare these two sculptures, top from Missouri, bottom from Ohio featured in a prior post.  The morphological similarities between these two rodent or rabbit creatures, especially the expression of the tail, suggests they were created within the framework of culturally defined parameters, perhaps the same cultural tradition.  They were found about 700 miles, or 1,125 km, from each other. 

Stacy Dodd and his family traveled from Memphis, Tennessee, to Zanesville, Ohio, with about 150 suspected sculptures from the "Old Route 66 Zoo" site in south west Missouri.  We met Saturday, March 3, and I had a chance to examine and photograph some of the 150 suspected sculptures selected from this site.  The number of pieces was overwhelming and was too much material to study in one day.  So, in my initial exposure to this collection, my goal was look for attributes which I thought could relate to finds from other American and European sites.

Mr. Dodd and the landowner of the site are having difficulty getting the attention of local archaeologists due to the unique nature of their finds.  This 5 acre parcel is open to archaeological science, to qualified investigators who have interest in recovering portable rock art sculptures in situ.  There are hundreds more suspected sculptures in the ground as they are visible near surface level and then "are packed" in mass over many square feet, according to Mr. Dodd.  Several verified flaked tools have been discovered at the site, but their association to the sculptures is not yet confirmed. It is very possible additional tools will be recovered along with sculptures if an archaeologist wishes to pursue a test dig at this site.



Like the Ohio example, this sculpture appears to exhibit polymorphic properties. When one adjusts the angle of view just 15 degrees to the right as compared to the photo at very top, the rabbit or rodent head morphs into a fish image as if leaping from the water. Here is that view, slightly more from the rear, and then a mark up of the same photo to illustrate the fish. The "water" is the body of the rodent, indicated by the blue line. The "ear" of the rodent in this perspective is the flaring dorsal fin of the leaping fish.

This kind of transforming optical illusion polymorphism is a defining characteristic to this kind of art. It's a case of the classic double entendre, an implied double-meaning, which is so revered among "the witty" of contemporary cultures. The old artists had the ability to include multiple images in one object, as if displaying their wits in the permanency of stone to others of cultures long gone. (click photos to expand).

Alan Day  Mar 5, 2012 02:03 PM
Hi Ken...
Spotting this stuff in a photo is usually a bit risky, but from here it seems Stacy's lithic rodent might be a classic janiform - with a face profile at each end looking in opposite directions, typically one being zoomorphic and the other more or less anthropomorphic. See http://www.daysknob.com/Janus.htm for some fairly distinct examples of this. Mac Poole's excellent quartz bird from North Carolina seems thematically particularly similar.
 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ken...

    Spotting this stuff in a photo is usually a bit risky, but from here it seems Stacy's lithic rodent might be a classic janiform - with a face profile at each end looking in opposite directions, typically one being zoomorphic and the other more or less anthropomorphic. See http://www.daysknob.com/Janus.htm for some fairly distinct examples of this. Mac Poole's excellent quartz bird from North Carolina seems thematically particularly similar.

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