One of my purposes for this blog is to elevate mimetoliths, or rocks that look like things, to equal status of artifacts when they are found in archaeological contexts. Also, statistically large numbers of mimetoliths in a concentrated area may also be used to identify archaeological sites.
The judgment to pick up and transport a stone object, or manuport, to one's location constitutes an action which we may conclude bestows the object with a kind of artifact status even though the object itself has not been modified. Its location and context has been modified to bring it into the human activity sphere. That is the business of Archaeology.
Bustamante et al. may explain why these judgments to collect, and often modify, mimetoliths were made by prehistoric peoples. Below they lay out the definitions for the "PAH triad" which they address in their paper "Search for meanings: from pleistocene art to the worship of the mountains in early China. Methodological tools for Mimesis.
"-Pareidolia (psychological phenomenon): involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Psychological phenomenon related to the Rorschach test.
-Apophenia (psychological phenomenon): that describe the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. The term was coined by Klaus Conrad (1958).
-Hierophany (psychological phenomenon): the perception of a manifestation of the sacred.
-PAH Triad (psychological phenomenona): Pareidolia-Apophenia-Hierophany working simultaneously, is changeable among diverse individuals. The PAH triad is part of the unconscious mechanisms inherent to every human being, present in the primary stages of the early development of the human conscience." - Bustamante, et al., 2011.
Of importance in the taphonomic logic process, the archaeological interpreter and his audience are also subject to the PAH triad. The portable rock art interpreter is subject to criticism by his audience as "fanciful," while his audience seems to ignore the universally important role of such "fanciful" observations by our equally human predecessors.