21 April 2014

A fossilized carved ivory horse sculpture from the Arkfeld site, Clear Brook, Virginia

Arkfeld farm site, #44FK732, fossil ivory with horse carving
length 38cm, diameter 7cm at large end, weight 2.4kg
Photos by Adam Arkfeld, Clear Brook, Virginia

Adam Arkfeld writes, "This tusk was recovered in a wet clay bed formed by runoff from limestone bedrock. The ivory has been completely mineralized. It appears that the horse was carved when the tusk was still "green." The level of carving detail would not be possible on limestone."

Close up of horse head and neck, including incised lines

Adam Arkfeld notes the Virginia carved horse head has a stylistic similarity horse imagery from Lascaux cave, France. The Arkfeld example also quite distinctly has the "whiskery lines" just behind the horse's mouth like the France example.

Lascaux cave horse head image

Horses from Lascaux and the Arkfeld ivory carving have lines behind the horse's mouth as seen in the reproduction image at right above. They are very finely carved but still distinct in the Arkfeld example.

These Magdalenian period carved ivory and bone figures from Europe depict bridled horses. The carved horse head on a gomphothere tusk is featured in the current issue of Pleistocene Coalition News along with other site information by Adam Arkfeld and Jack Hranicky, R.P.A

Horse head carved on ivory, Hohle Fels, Germany, ca. 30,000 years BP. (image flipped for a more direct comparison to the Arkfeld site example)

Tip of a mammoth tusk carved as two reindeer depicted one behind the other; 13,000 years old approximately; Montastruc, France, © The Trustees of the British Museum

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