09 June 2014

Human head figure on a cobble in Paleolithic tradition found at Spout Run site, Bluemont, Virginia

From the Spout Run archaeological site, Bluemont, Virginia. 

An illustration of an Upper Paleolithic "cobble mask" from Siberia, Russia. Bol'shoi El'gakhchan I site, from Early Art of the Northern Far East by M.A. Kiriyak. Note the image of a swan-like water bird with its head facing left just under the nose of the human depiction (Johnston)

Ken Johnston find at the Spout Run archaeological site owned by Rene and Chris White. I suggest both of the eyes on this piece have been humanly worked. The right eye is well defined and discrete, while the left eye is represented as a large empty space. This may be an example of the "one eye open, other eye shut or missing" Middle Paleolithic art motif.

Among natural stones an object like this stands out. The anthropomorphic nature of the face is more prominent when compared to the "natural background" of the find location. When viewed as a photograph out of context, the human feeling aspect of the object is more difficult to appreciate.

Ken Johnston interpretation of possible bird figure integrated into the face mask. It seems to have posture and shape of a member of the Corvid family. Click photos to expand and compare

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