11 March 2014

Human face masks, lion head sculpture and bear figure from the Henri Valentie collection, IÎle d'Oléron, France

 Henri Valentie collection, IÎle d'Oléron, France

H. Valentie writes: "Hello
I appreciate your site I often viewed. I found this stone on the island of Oleron, lower paleo. On this same stone faces two heads. Stone is 1.9kg, 18.4 cm long, 11.5 cm wide, 6.7 cm deep

 Pebble masquette, Henri Valentie collection, IÎle d'Oléron, France

The Vincenzo Tupputi collection from the east coast of Italy includes many examples of "masquettes" on pebbles like this one identified by H. Valentie.

Pebble masquettes are also found in North America as seen in this example identified as a worked pebble face from the Mahoning River valley, Canfield, Ohio, by Allen V. Deibel. Both the Ohio and France masquettes have an exaggerated, cartoonish looking, nose.

Henri Valentie collection, IÎle d'Oléron, France
Lion head sculpture looking left: length 15.5 cm, width 12 cm, depth 7 cm.

Compare Henri Valenti's identification of a lion head figure to the lion head sculpture identified by Charles Belart at Wimeraux, France.

Bear: length 36 cm, width 13 cm, depth 4 cm.
Carved into the limestone, bear and lion were found on the same site at the edge of sea shore

These pieces were found on the site of the lion and bear: 1 sided lower and middle Paleo Paleo neo blade knife back Neolithic perforated shell and a human head? The head is pierced through.

Sincerely
Mr Henri Valentie"

Ken Johnston markup of the lion head profile looking left (pink eye, red mouth, natural black nose) and his interpretation of a smiling human skull facing the opposite direction. Click on the photos to expand and toggle to compare markup lines to worked stone features. The combination of feline and human imagery like this may be reflective of an ideologically significant paradox of the lion as a human predator and provider of prey in the form of carcasses and bones humans could exploit for nutrition.

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