30 June 2013
Bird and bird's nest "skull-egg sculptures" from The Netherlands Middle Acheulean and from Flint Ridge, Ohio
"Detail little bird," Beegden site, The Netherlands, quartz stone sculpture, Middle Acheulean, identification and photos by Jan van Es
van Es interprets skull-egg icons with the bird figure
Pam Douglass find, Jacksontown, Ohio, interpreted by Ken Johnston as a depiction of an egg in bird's nest. The egg is also a micro-carving of a skull, demonstrating this iconography appears in the new world as well as in the European Acheulean.
The egg-skull looking right, seen on a cm grid for scale.
Close up of the egg-skull micro carving from Pam Douglass' find just south of Flint Ridge, Ohio, which was featured in an earlier posting on this blog.
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.
23 June 2013
Polyiconic duck head with running horse head figure in a crystal-studded Vanport chert artifact from Flint Ridge, Ohio
Licking County, Ohio, find and interpretation by Ken Johnston as a "duck head" figure stone
Close up of a "running horse's head" in micro stonework on the top of the duck head icon
Horse's head attached to neck connotes forward movement. The horse has a "flowing mane of crystals." (Click photos to expand slideshow)
Side 2 with scale. I interpret this as a flying bird/human combination form with the human head in the upper left, worked onto the reverse side of the duck bill.
When the duck head is rotated 180 degrees, it stands fully upright on a base and presents a possible fish image.
A view showing the crystals on the bill and top of the duck head
A functional large blade on the artifact is suitable for use as a tool
The blade as optimally held for use
The tool component of this piece evidences use-wear
19 June 2013
Tennessee bird mimetolith inspired prehistoric stone work to animate it with an eye and create a sharp edge on its belly (source of eggs), creating a bird/tool
Sherry Hill find, Doe River valley, Carter County, Tennessee
This once fully natural pebble was recognized to have a strong resemblance to a bird by someone in Stone Age prehistory. Mimetoliths are naturally occurring rocks which resemble other objects known to the viewer. A psychological phenomenon described by Bustamante, et al. as the "PAH triad" may be responsible for stimulating the desire of someone to make modifications to the stone, transforming it into an artifact in the strict sense. This stone has been modified to add an eye, which disambiguates the bird form enough to make it a "real, living bird." This animation, a kind of rectification of serendipitous finds, is seen on many postings on this blog and may be thought of as a defining characteristic of this forsaken art modality.
Stone was chipped away on the under belly of the bird, the symbolic source of eggs, to create a sharp tool edge, as is seen in this earlier example in flint from Licking County, Ohio, where the bird's belly is also a sharp edge. For the maker of this artifact the power to slice, to cut into something, is regarded as strong as the force of life itself and analogous to the power of the symbolic cosmic egg as represented by a bird's belly.
Amateur archaeologist Sherry Hill also identified an exquisite bird figure worked around a gemstone like eye inclusion which was featured in an earlier posting on this blog.
Side 2 with tool edge visible along the bottom of the bird
Stone removal along the belly and tail of the bird created a sharp edge suitable for use as a tool
The "bird/tool" as it is optimally held for use (click photos to expand)
Carter County, Tennessee
Licking County, Ohio
Sulldorf, Hamburg, Germany, Mousterian bird figure, archaeologist Walther Matthes, ca. 1960. (source originsnet.org)
16 June 2013
Flint bulb "One eye missing" motif micro mask is paired with a feline depiction on side 2, implying a "lion bite to the head" distorts the human's left face and eye
Dennis Boggs find, Irrigon, Oregon, interpreted as a one eye missing micro mask by Ken Johnston (3.5cm diameter)
This flint bulb "One eye missing" motif micro mask is paired with a probable feline depiction on side 2, implying a "lion bite to the head" is what distorts the human's left face and eye on the mask. This same connection is implied as earlier described in the compound flint sculpture of a lion and human head from the "Buckeye Lake, Ohio, flint sculpture hoard." These are Lower Paleolithic "old world" art motifs which are now seen in North America.
Side 2 is a probable feline head depiction looking right. Notice the retouch work to the bulb flake. (click photos to expand view)
Side 2 illuminated from behind while in darkness, a possible "lithophane" which may have been recognized by the maker. Holding a translucent stone object such as this up to a small hole inside a typical hide dwelling during the day would produce the same affect for a prehistoric artist (Matt Gatton, Paleo-camera Theory).
Here is the mask rotated 180 degrees to illustrate the human modification to this flake
One eye missing mask illuminated as a lithophane
White (eyes and nose) and red (mouth) markups on the key modification points the artist used to affect the mask imagery interpreted by Ken Johnston. (Click photos to expand view and toggle between photos for comparison).
Here is another rock found by Dennis Boggs at Irrigon, Oregon, which Ken Johnston earlier interpreted as a depiction in translucent stone material of a "one eye missing" mask with a symbolic "bite" taken out of the stone to depict a "lion's bite" to the left eye and side of the face.
Artifact pictured with scale
13 June 2013
Two "smiling human skull/bird faces" identified 2000 miles apart, demonstrating a continuity of a heretofore undescribed North American art tradition
Hemet, California, bird figure identified by Karon Schwab and featured in the last posting.
I have interpreted a smiling one eye open, one eye shut or missing skull, where the beak of the bird is also interpreted as the chin of the skull. The human's left eye is also the eye of the bird. (click photos to expand)
I made a mark up to define the left side of the smiling, one-eyed human skull artfully combined into a bird figure stone
Mike Raver find, Zanesville, Ohio, identified as a bird figure, with an optical illusion where the bird's beak is also the chin of a smiling one eye open, one eye shut or missing, skull.
I propose the Hemet, California, bird figure is made in the same tradition as the one from Zanesville, Ohio, demonstrating a heretofore undescribed Stone Age art continuity across 2000 miles of North America.
11 June 2013
Quartz bird figure from Hemet, California, collection of Karon Schwab (click photo to expand)
Side 1 with scale
There is a ledge and a pad which fits the thumb in a secure grip of the bird figure which presents the beak as a possible tool bit
Right profile, note inclusion exposed as the bird's eye and the stone work to sculpt the beak
Bird head with detail-worked bird's eye in left profile. Note the faint incised mouth line on the beak as well as a nostril. (click photo to expand)
View from on top of the bird, showing some black inclusions in the stone