07 December 2012

A standing stone head with bas relief facial details and white paint traces could have been a hanging corded pendant

A standing stone head with bas relief facial details and white paint traces
Find by Ken Johnston, Licking County, Ohio, near Buckeye Lake

This is the first of the art objects I discovered in my agriculture field hunting in Licking County, Ohio, about 15 years ago. At first glance I thought it was a notched pebble or possibly a net sinker but then I noticed the eyes, nose and mouth of the facial features. I have not seen anything looking like it or using the same manufacture techniques in the intervening years, attesting to the anomalous nature of this object to my central Ohio locale. 

15 years ago, I dismissed this piece as likely insignificant because I perceived it as "crude and unsophisticated" thanks to the indoctrination I was receiving from the archaeology mainstream about the "high art nature of good and worthy" Native American art. Nowadays, I keep returning to the same area to look for more but no-till farming is not providing the soil access I had 15 years ago. Other suspected tools and art objects in area are thought to be Paleolithic (9000+ years old).

There are traces of white paint on the artifact. This substance would be ideal for scientific archaeological analysis and could provide insight into the material culture of the person who produced this stone head.

My inerpretation of the piece speculated it was used as a pendant hanging around ones neck where the hole wore through in use and the piece was then used as an idol standing on its neck base. The illustration above shows the back side the pendant as it would face ones chest. Areas of stone wear on the artifact suggest the pendant could have been handled significantly while being worn by someone. If the person were right handed, there is a nice thumb pad on one side and two notches which perfectly accomodate the index and middle fingers on the other side. 

Heavy handling evidenced by this wear may have been responsible for the original hole wearing through and leaving the current gap in the center of the top of the head. 


Seen from above with scale

As an alternate explanation for the "horned aspect" of the Ohio figure's head, German rock art archaeologist Ursel Benekendorff noted the Ohio artifact's resemblance to known depictions of Celtic warriors from Germany. Maybe it was not a corded pendant but was designed to have a split head from the start in accordance with some cultural tradition, Celtic or other. Interestingly, the Ohio Licking River valley is home to burial mounds, the largest geometric earthwork in the world, and a possible sacra via, similar to descriptions of the German Celtic site at Glauberg.




The Ohio figure on a small easel


"Warrier of Glauberg" 2500 years before present

-kbj

2 comments:

  1. There are so many aspects to study on just one rock. Lately I have been interested on patches of patina on the rocks I have found as well as finger placements and wondering the purpose of them. Observations: 1. to improve on the purpose of an "object or tool" takes a while. 2. the purpose must be important enough to require finger placements.3. the patina on a rock means that there was value on either the stone itself or the" object" that was smoothed to be smoothed. 4 the sense of touch was developped enough and appreciated in order to be able to make a difference between rough and very smooth.

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  2. If you look into the mystery of the cocaine mummies.they took hair samples and found cocaine and tobacco two new world plants.they could have gone extinct but that seems highly unlikely if the plants had such a following to be in so many mummies hair.so you look who and how could've it end up in Africa. A likely answer is found to the north u have people in goseck German building stone circles that map the sun 7000 years ago.with the knowledge of the sun and your shaddow u have the ability to travel.then you look who were some of the first known sea fairer's in the area.the Vikings probably were hand down boat making from the celts or an earlier civilzation that traveled to America's for trade. its just theory but theories got be theorized on with today's weak explanations of the past. The notched out area looks a lot like the notched out alignment areas in the mounds. Just a theory but it could be a kind of sundial when the notch is aligned west one eye could cast a a slight shadow at sun rise on the winter solstice into the notch and the opposite eye cast the shadow into the notch on summer solstice. Jan van es knows what she's talking about with the shadow language quote on your page I laughed when I first read it, but after looking into it the laugh was on me

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