01 May 2014

Flint bear head figure manufactured around a quartz crystal lined cavity serving as its back lighted "hexagon eye"

Ken Johnston find, Flint Ridge, Ohio, identified as a bear head figure worked around a quartz crystal inclusion and worked to manufacture a back lighted translucent "eye"

Vanport chert bear head figure, Flint Ridge, Licking County, Ohio

Bear head figure translucence demonstrated by my desk lamp.

There is a defined-by-the-artist hexagon shaped area around the eye opening with cortex removal to allow light passage to the front of the stone. The hexagon shape is likely symbolic for the Stone Age artist. It is very well defined and almost perfect in its proportions. (click photos to expand and toggle for comparisons)

The translucent "eye of the bear" in sunlight. The natural crystal-lined cavity penetrates the stone to a depth of 2cm.

Side 2. There is deliberate work to expose the translucence on this side of the stone.

Side 2. Yellow line defines area which transmits light to the back of the stone. Black area has been excavated to depth of 7mm in order to get to the desired translucence. Circle-in-circle is end of eye cavity 2cm deep from other side. This stone figure may be considered a "lithophane," a term I borrowed to describe "portable rock art designed to make light appear" by exploiting transparent or translucent stone features.

Bear head figure at left with scale, (right) a large blade from several meters away, typical of tool artifacts in large numbers at Flint Ridge.




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