15 May 2012

Hoard #5 of 7: a literal bifacial human head sculpture with hearing like a mammoth and vision like a Bighorn

Licking County, Buckeye Lake, Ohio, sculpture hoard #5 of 7 is a two-sided human head. This shows a face in left profile view
(click photos to expand)

This is the head in right profile view. The rounded out conchoidal fracture bulb of force in the upper center of the sculpture is the ear, with the funnel-shaped elephant head to the right and the eye just to the right of that. The pointed aspect on the upper right of the artifact is the nose and the pointed aspect in the lower right is the mouth (upper lip). Please see marked up illustrations below highlighting the facial features depicted.

There is an inclusion of crystals in the flint at the peak of the two faces

As all of the sculptures in the Buckeye Lake, Ohio, hoard do, this piece stands up in correct viewing orientation on a designed base. This is the only flat surface on the sculpture and the only surface it will stand on.

Bob Doyle, a master flintknapper and Stone Age tool replicator, found this near Portland, Maine. He identified this item as a worked, intended, human head sculpture in right profile. When I saw this art piece Bob has identified, I recognized a similarity to the right facial profile seen on the Buckeye Lake, Ohio, sculpture hoard #5 of 7. They seem to be representations of the same, idealized, human facial image. It is a form which likely had meaning to its makers.

The face in right profile has an elephant-like ear with elephant head attached. Elephants are known for keen hearing and this sculpture may have been given the power of good hearing by its creator. The human head and the small elephant head share the same ear which is comprised of a bulb of percussion in the flint.

(please click photos to expand and compare)

The face in left profile is depicted as combined with a horned animal, where the human head and the horned animal share the same eye. In researching possible animals depicted here, I settled on the ewe Bighorn sheep because it has a curved shorter horn like that shown along the top right of the sculpture in this view. While reading about the Bighorn sheep, I learned it is an animal known for its exceptional vision, able to spot predators up to a mile away.

I propose this bifacial sculpture was symbolically given hearing like a mammoth and vision like a Bighorn.

-kbj

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