19 August 2012

Ohio collector Mike Raver independently describes known Old World "one eye open, one eye closed/missing" motif from river confluence site in Zanesville

Mike Raver finds, confluence of the Licking River and the Muskingum River, an Ohio River tributary, at Zanesville, Ohio.

Mike Raver of Zanesville, Ohio, has been artifact collecting for many years and a couple of years ago started noticing visual patterns in the worked material he was finding. The posting features just 7 of the many, many, pebble face masks Mike has found at the river confluence. These simple pebbles with naturally advantageous features were modified to the likeness of crude faces, many with "one eye closed and a moan" according to Mike. This interpretation is in line with a known motif in portable rock art from the Old World, according to the late German archaeologist, Walther Matthes as seen at originsnet.org, and in America as seen on this blog and from places such as the Day's Knob hilltop site, around 50 miles from Zanesville

Alan Day has investigated many of these objects, including this Licking County "one eye open, one eye closed/missing" figure stone found about 20 miles west of Zanesville with a unique story. Investigation and interpretation by Alan Day. Photo by Jonathan Gephart, Newark, Ohio, courtesy of Alan Day.

Mike is one of many careful observers of worked stone material who have also independently detected and described this motif in the Unites States. It is in fact prolific, being reported to this author from coast-to-coast by portable rock art investigators. Mike collects material which looks different from the natural background of rocks in his locale. He then examines pieces closer when he gets home. He finds a wide variety of tools and portable rock art artifacts.

Mike Raver has made some significant art and tool finds which will be seen in the near future on this blog.

Mike showing me part of his collection, holding a long, sharp tabular wedge. Many art pieces were present and will be seen here in the future. Mikes's blog is here.

Artifact from Germany as seen at originsnet.org for motif comparison to Ohio examples
Photographer © Walther Matthes. Matthes, W. (1969). Eiszeitkunst im Nordseeraum. Otterndorf, Gr: Niederelbe-Verlag; (1964/1965). Bild 62.

There is a micro crystal lined pipe in this stone which has been exploited as a "nose." It sparkles when holding the stone. The mouth area was worked to complete the form.

Tools found by Mike at the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum Rivers, Zanesville, Ohio.



  1. Actually Ken, these 2 ancient tools were found under my front porch in Downtown Zanesville between Market and Main Streets along with about 60 other articles of like materials and relics. I have traced stone age relics from my house to 6 blocks away where my little girl found a nice knapping stone in back alley near Army Navy Store. Basically, From the Rivers i hunt in about a 5 mile radius.....the closer to the river bank i get, the older the relics get.

  2. Ken, If you look closely inside the open eye, you will see another image of a face with two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. I just noticed it after studying the stone. I believe the artist may have put the image there intentionally. See if you can find the image.

    Macario Solis

  3. Thank you Macario. Alan Day has also described the face in the eye of the example in carved black basalt here. So you have support for this interpretation! Ironically, I am working on a posting of a fish head form submitted from Oregon which has images in both eyes- coming in September.

  4. After further study of the "one eye open one eye closed" stone, I have found more images. If you look to the right of the stone, you can see a profile image of a full person. This person has their left arm extended out either hold an image of a man's head or wiping his eyes. Several people confirmed seeing the image. In the near future, I will be able to provide sketches to show where the figures are.

  5. On the front part of the nose, you can see an image of a boy. I believe there are images in both eyes and on the corners of the mouth. There is a woman on the left corner of the mouth. On the right corner a man can be seen that stretches towwards the left eye.

  6. if you turn the 5th face image of mine on its side....he makes a skull face. i show it on my blog in a video

  7. and in some of these "one eye" pieces, lots....the squinty eye does allow the stone to morph if turned...especially if it is a weeping eye..it usually makes a mouth or a cheek

  8. hi i live in ohio and have3 located a very large site of human face , bird ande human cat figurines hundreds in fact , some down right stunning . alot are made of semi precious stone . most are some form of tool such as bladelettes ; celts , arrows , scrapers and awls . was thrled with your site , need help dating this strange culure of mine . looks like an anccient yearbook. mike any help ?

  9. hi mike , was thrilled to find your site . i have located an unusual ancient site in clermont cnty. oh. so far have found hundreds of exellent human faces ; birds and human cat comos. alot are on semi precious rock tools such as bladelettes, celts , arrowheads ; scrapers . i belive my site to have been some type of holyland of the ancients but unlike anything i can find through research so difficult to date . would love for you to see my face collection , some very stunning pieces in it . one near lifesized with paintings and markings any help on dating would be incredible ,looking at them is like looking at an ancient yearbook.most have large noses small mouths ears or earrings and an eye on one side o the piece . some full front like yours but in white stone.in the one to three sided ones their are clearly men ; women and children with front knot hair rear knot ; helmut syle top point or behind nape point only . would love some help......... pam

    1. i wish i could be of help dating these relics but sadly i cannot. i could be of help in backing these finds up as legitimate though because i have collected hundreds, maybe thousands of them in 12 different spots around my area in Ohio. I do think they are pre-clovis because they do have similarities with much older items found in Europe and Asia. some of the tools i have also look strikingly like Neanderthal tools that i have seen in pictures but i am no expert and my word on these would be theory based only.

  10. Wow, what a small world Mike! I have seen and been very impressed by your You tube Channel, and then today I see you on this site while doing some research on the hafting of effigies. Anyone at all interested in learning more about the Wakans (Spirit or aura of the animal) imparted to every day stone tools usually and or only by a shaman, just as we brand our items today and believe the brand name makes us "run" faster, and this area of study, should check out Mike's You Tube channel. His finds in quantity and quality of artifacts are a source of amazement, and he gives a great interpretation I have found reliable of what is what and why...(Bonus: His guitar playing that accompanies the videos sticks in your head)

  11. Normal old rocks with natural pots and indentations with no observable knapping.
    Just like the face on the earths moon. Does not appear to be any choice material used by natives for creation. They admired pretty, colorful things and lithic material.