18 August 2014

Cultures symbolising birds as psychopomps may explain stone bird figures "carrying" human images

 A simple flying bird figure (wings on the down-stroke), Vanport chert, Licking County, Ohio

 Subtle human facial profile facing left

Reverse side of the bird figure

Human facial profile facing right

The exact tip of the human facial profile's nose, from both sides of the stone, has two manufactured divots in the flint presumably to serve as nostrils. This topic has been covered in several postings on this blog, including this one. This detail helps confirm status of an intended bird sculpture here with human imagery on its "tail."

There are several flying bird figures incorporating human imagery which have been featured on this blog. 

It is quite possible birds were thought of as psychopomps, or "soul escorts," into birth and life and/or death and the afterlife, and this may help explain some human and bird combination stone figures.

Flying bird right profile. These bird figures were found in the same area. They do not have any human imagery but provide a bird figure archaeological context.

Side 2

In another orientation the flying bird form becomes a sitting bird. The bird's back is covered with quartz crystals. The bird is standing on its own design.

Side 1 and 2

Even at a chert quarry, limestone is not immune from use to make a bird figure. This is a very unique bird in that it is depicted as flying (beak pointing) to the right on both sides. Both sides are highly related to each other in form. 

Limestone and flint art objects have been completely missed, or forsaken, by Archaeology Officialdom. This needs to change because they are prolific and can tell us much about our past and future.

With scale 

Here is dirty stone figure found about 10 miles from the Flint Ridge find site of the featured artifacts here, along with an illustration of a simple bird figure from Paleolithic Siberia. This was featured in another posting.

A hammerstone and a unifacial blade found among the bird artifacts

The unifacial blade has evidence of work to accommodate hafting to a handle at its base. It was made and struck from a prepared core, similar to Levallois technology. Archaeologist Blaine Ensor has been investigating North American quarry sites with Levallois-like technology he has dubbed "Capps" based on the name of the type site.

(left) This is an example of another human facial profile, also facing right, which has been identified by David Boies of Austin, Texas, and was covered in an earlier posting. The bird form is not visible in this perspective but may be seen at the link. The Flint Ridge artifact is pictured at right. These two artifacts were found at locations 1095 miles apart (1762km).

This is another face as seen on the posterior of a bird figure. It also has a bird form emerging as its nose. Also found by David Boies near Austin, Texas.

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