29 June 2013
Flintstone may depict a "Paleolithic human/animal head with long muzzle" combined with a head profile of the extinct Harlan's Musk Ox
Ken Johnston find, Flint Ridge, Ohio, was recognized and collected for its zooanthropomorphic visual properties.
It seems possible objects such as this were also recognized in prehistory and enhanced to disambiguate the images as this one appears to have been. Please click the photo to expand and open a slide show. Note the nose and mouth of the creature looking left as they have a human-like quality. The nose is "animated" with nostrils.
I made markups on the original photo to illustrate the eye sight lines of the human-like facial profile and the possible Harlan's Musk Ox profile. What I suspect is a depiction of the curved musk ox horn is illustrated with the white outline which traces a feature in the flint.
This is an image of a Harlan's Musk Ox skull and horns. The fossilized horn core of a Harlan's Musk Ox was found at Hebron, Ohio, about 10 miles from Flint Ridge, during road construction 15 or so years ago. It is on display at the Ohio History Center in Columbus. The horns would appear to "curl back" as seen in the flint artifact when the animal is viewed is different positions.
Close up of creature on left: This head in left profile may be a depiction of human combined with animal traits, or therianthropy.
"This long muzzle imagery is recurrent in Paleolithic art"
-R. Dale Guthrie
From The Nature of Paleolithic Art by R. Dale Guthrie, page 92. Compare this illustration of a human with an animal like muzzle or snout to the the flint artifact above it.
R. Dale Guthrie's "animal to human gradient" of faces seen in Paleolithic art.
Close up of the suspected right profile of the head of an Ice Age Harlan's Musk Ox.
Side 2 of the artifact with scale.