08 July 2013

Mainstream "archaeological science" not yet capable of assessing artifactuality or iconography of ambiguous items by requiring the obvious and ignoring the subtle in an uninformed 'art litmus test'

Muskingum County, Ohio, flint and quartz crystal bird figure stone, found at a new site on Flint Ridge about 5 miles from the find location of this somewhat similar flint and quartz crystal bird figure stone featured in an earlier posting.

Another freak of mother nature "Crystal-breasted flint finch" or products of the human aesthetic sense?

Side 2 view of same artifact

Side 3 view of artifact with scale

Ohio Adena culture pipestone pipe is about 2000 years old

Due to an academic bias, a true Déformation professionnelle, in favor of "Indian mound art," with a genesis in the raiders of early North American archaeology sites of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a highly distorted view of what most Native American portable rock art is like has been reported by Archaeology. 

For example, the official 'state artifact' of Ohio has come to be an Adena culture pipestone tobacco pipe which is quite singular. There is nothing wrong with this except archaeologists and the public are not aware of the fuller range of typical lithic arts produced by the prehistoric peoples of Ohio. Objects like the Ohio Adena Pipe get the attention while what are more common nature-based portable rock art figures have been completely forsaken. Unfortunately, a public expecting prehistoric artifacts typical of those most frequently presented is not likely to ever recognize or report more likely objects as 'art.' 

The bird figures like the one in this posting, for example, did not make it in to the early artifact taxonomies which were developed and it seems Archaeology has come to believe the universe of all stone artifact taxonomies in North America is known and essentially closed. Else, it would be open to true scientific examination of anomalous finds.

-kbj

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ken...

    Many thanks for linking to my IFRAO 2013 presentation poster! With everything else going on here, including the essential physical/scientific verification of this stuff, I've fallen far behind in the web-based "outreach" part of the project. Things seem to be improving, though, albeit slowly. A professional archaeologist has taken an interest in the site and artifacts, and intends to commence core sampling at the earthwork this summer. We'll see how it goes...

    Don't know if you've noticed, but Hollywood has inadvertently participated in displaying/reinforcing one of the most obvious of my "Primal Images" identified early on in the Figure Stones here, and manifest in Native American symbolic expression, namely a bird atop the head. Look at Johnny Depp's Tonto with the bird on his head! (The outstretched wings seem a bit off, but no matter...)

    I see you've been treated to Bradly Lepper's chanting of the "images in clouds" mantra, something he's been doing forever, or at least in the over ten years during which I've been corresponding with him. He's far from stupid, and must know (or at least suspect) better, given the many instances of his summarily dismissing artifactuality and imagery in material that has been confirmed by professional and doctorate-level lithics specialists to be of human manufacture. Having grown tired of his clueless pomposity, starting with an article co-authored by Prof. Eric Law and me scheduled for publication in the next edition of the journal Ohio Archaeologist I will no longer politely refrain from mentioning him and the Ohio Historical Society by name, as I have done in previous articles. The article is about the limestone bird figure (from 20 cm down in undisturbed dense clay terrain eastern Muskingum County, Ohio) shown lower left on my poster.

    Incidentally, after the International Rock Art Conference in Albuquerque, the renowned anthropologist and rock art specialist Robert Bednarik personally inspected the aforementioned bird stone, finding it quite interesting and expressing surprise that a state archaeologist would not recognize it as an artifact.

    Fun stuff...

    Regards, Alan Day

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