15 August 2014

Footprint mimetolith became a manuported object

David Boies find, Austin, Texas

This stone resembling a human footprint was found by David Boies in a strong context of other iconic objects. It seems to be an example of a mimetolith, or a natural stone which resembles something else. Because of the find context, it is likely someone in the distant past found it, recognized it and then brought it to the same location where other gathered and manufactured iconic stones have been found. This would make the stone a manuport, or something moved by hand. By the definition I use on this blog, this object also became an artifact when there was a judgement to bring it into the sphere of collected objects which humans surround themselves with.

paper by Bustamante, et al., Search for meanings: from pleistocene art to the worship of the mountains in early China. Methodological tools for Mimesis.


Bednarik (2009) described the Makapansgat jasperite cobble, a stone shaped as a human face deposited 2.5 to 3 million years ago. Tsao et al. (2006) demonstrated that face perception is a crucial skill to primates, humans and macaque monkeys. Applying two methodological tools of the EntornoArchaeology - Psychological and Geographical Entorno-, may allow to understand the process that probably led the Pleistocene humans to sacralize rocks -Mimetoliths- and objects -Mimetomorphs- with natural forms that resembled animals or human beings, in increasing scale, from small rocks, big rocks, mountains and Mountainous ranges, in the early Chinese culture, where we have found that three mythological characters: Pan-Gu (盘古), Fu-Xi (伏羲) and Shen-Nong (神农), probably were sacralized mountains.

Mimesis, by the psychological phenomena of Pareidolia, Apophenia and Hierophany (The PAH triad), might explain the many instances when humans between Pleistocene and early chinese culture attributed religious significance or extraordinary connections to ordinary imagery and subjects. On the other hand, Mimetoliths and Mimetomorphs might contribute to explain the origins of Palaeoart, animism and religion.

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