20 January 2014
Fish figure with "eye" from the Upper Rogue River valley, Oregon, is compared to Russian and Ohio examples
Fish figure collected and identified by Shelly Kaye, Upper Rogue River, Oregon
This figure was found outside of any supportive context but recognized as a "fish" by Shelly. The imagery compares favorably to the 2nd of the three fish from Siberia in the illustration below. Even though not from an archaeological context which could be detected by the finder, objects such as this may provide other ways to indicate artificiality.
Illustration of Siberian example
This Oregon figure has a dark spot as the eye which may be evidence of pigment application as is seen in other portable rock art examples. Perhaps these residues can be tested. It may be that something similar to a "birch bark resin manufacturing process" was used to develop the pigment which would confirm this as an artifact. Birch bark resin was used by Neanderthals for glue and is thought to be the earliest synthetic material made by humans identified to date. Eyes are also made by grinding on stones or exploiting natural stone inclusions.
Siberian examples of fish figures on flakes. From Early Art from the Northern Far East- the Stone Age, by M.A. Kiriyak.