23 March 2013

Left-handed tool is breathing bird head with human face icon on posterior, a motif providing a rare glimpse into the spiritual lives of Stone Age cultures

Ken Johnston find, Licking County, Ohio

I interpret this as a combination bird head and tool form, with a nostril in the anatomically correct position on the beak to "animate the stone with the breath of life." These kinds of artifacts likely express some portion of the spiritual lives of their makers and are ready to provide archaeologists a rare view into the beliefs of the cultures who made them. Every stone and rock and flake in archaeological contexts needs to be considered for visual properties or we are doing a profound disservice to our human heritage. In my opinion, every archaeological site ever worked has been compromised, even destroyed, if visual properties of the site lithics were not considered.

Side 2 of combination bird head and tool with scale




The tool aspect of this artifact is seen when it is held in the left hand. The two photos demonstrate the designed "thumb pad" to optimally hold the tool while presenting a working edge. The tip of the beak is a serviceable pick or perforator. (click photos to expand and compare)

 A view of the sharp edge of the tool, a possible scraper or cutter

-kbj

2 comments:

  1. I found one. It matches these imgages to a T. Wow

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  2. I have several in my collection from Arizona. These tools and many others were creatively designed by the ancient Indians to show a different image depending on the direction the tool is turned.

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