31 May 2014

A Ground Sloth head sculpture from the Arkfeld site, #44FK734, Clear Brook, Virginia, incorporates a human face mask like other art examples from the site

This 18cm in length zoomorphic shaped stone identified by Adam Arkfeld is interpreted by Ken Johnston as a sculpture of the head of a Ground Sloth


Artifact from North Texas interpreted as a ground sloth head figure by Ken Johnston featured earlier on this blog. From the collection of Bill Waters. 


The earliest evidence of people in Ohio is associated with a ground sloth as seen in this video with Brian Redmond, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History


Ken Johnston interpretation of a human face mask incorporated into the back of the ground sloth head. The rounded aspect of the two eyes and the nose features are based on crinoid stem or similar fossil inclusions in the limestone. The faint but present mouth is illustrated in red. This back end of this stone (left edge) including the right eye of the human mask may have been handled in prehistory as if rubbing or touching it, while the left eye feature appears less weathered.


Click photos to expand and toggle to compare illustration versus the unmarked photo.


Megalonyx jeffersonii, Giant Ground Sloth model

30 May 2014

Arkfeld site bird figures include two "sleeping ducks" combined with human head representations

Bird figure, Arkfeld site, #44FK734, Clear Brook, Virginia

Russian Siberia Paleolithic bird figure from Early Art of the Northern Far East: The Stone Age, M.A. Kiriyak, 

Bird shapes identified by Adam Arkfeld

Bird form given an "eye"


Flying water bird form

Bird given eye and beak detail

"Sleeping duck," or duck with its head turned toward its back

Human head representation incorporated into this duck figure. It may depict the "one eye open, other eye shut or missing" face mask motif.

The mouth of the human may be interpreted here as being wide open. The duck/human combination is a portable rock art motif in North America already described on this blog.

This human head sculpture described already on this blog becomes a sleeping duck figure when rotated 90 degrees to the right.

Arkfeld site sleeping duck sculpture

photo of a sleeping duck for comparison

Precedent for duck/human combinations: Flint Ridge, Ohio, Vanport chert duck head figure identified by Ken Johnston was featured earlier on this blog. It was found in the context of other bird and bird head figures. The reverse side depicts a human head profile facing left with its mouth wide open.

28 May 2014

Virginia horse country in the Stone Age at the Arkfeld farm

 Horse head figure, Arkfeld site, #44FK732, Clear Brook, Virginia 

Side 2 of horse head figure, 15cm length

Large horse head sculpture



Life-size horse head sculpture weighing about 45kg (100 lbs.) greets visitors to the Arkfeld home

Horse head figure, 6cm length

Two sides of a horse head figure identified by Mr. Arkfeld (click photos to expand)

Common sense tells landowners and astute observers when repeated iconic patterns can no longer be attributed to natural coincidence. Mr. Arkfeld was born and raised on his property, so he is intimately familiar with the appearance of the natural stones and rocks there. His observation of anomalous material eroding from a stream bank is what led to his discovery of "The Arkfeld site." Those who are educated archaeologists seem uniquely dis-qualified to consider the existence of such iconic stone materials from the past.

Ken Johnston illustration of a feline head profile facing left combined with the horse head figure while it faces right. Despite thousands of years in the earth, faint traces of the feline head, including a worked eye feature, should be verifiable by careful scientific examination. The patination on this object suggests it may have been used as a "rubbing stone."

Ken Johnston illustration of faint remnants of a second feline face viewed straight on with an open mouth in what is the smoothed and patinated part of the stone.

Close up of two feline images still visible on the stone after close examination



Suspected cultural stone debris from the Arkfeld site

22 May 2014

Arkfeld site "baby mammoth" interpretation is supported by human face masks also incorporated into the sculpture

"Baby mammoth" sculpture identified by Adam Arkfeld, Arkfeld site, #44FK732, Clear Brook, Virginia 

The mammoth is seen in black with trunk directed to the right. Stone is approximately 10cm length. The overall shape of the stone may represent the head of another animal, perhaps a bear.

Angie Bean pencil sketch  "The Baby Mammoth"

Ken Johnston interprets two human face mask figures incorporated into the posterior of the mammoth, in line with a motif well described by archaeologist Jan van Es, of Roermond, The Netherlands. Regarding another sculpture seen on this blog, van Es writes "In many sculptures of animals (bear, elephant, bison, etc..) is a portrait by the legs visible. Here I see a man's face by the hind legs."

The mask circled on the left is in the "one eye open, other eye shut or missing" motif where the mammoth's rear leg may be seen as "blacking out" the left eye of the mask as if wearing an eye patch or the like.

The mask circled on the right is a smaller relatively "happy face" nested between the mammoth's front and rear legs as this piece presents a Stone Age version of the popularized masks of tragedy and comedy. Perhaps this captures the broad range of human emotion associated with these magnificent animals.

Another mammoth portable rock art form along with Angie Bean's pencil sketch of it.


close up of Arkfeld "Baby Mammoth"

"Lyuba" the world's best preserved baby mammoth, photo by BBC News

21 May 2014

Mammoth imagery at Arkfeld site may include simplified geometric representations as already described

Suspected mammoth figures, with very flat bases upon which they stand, from Arkfeld site, Clear Brook, Virginia. A total of eight different mammoth forms are seen in this article.

Close up of mammoth figure #1

A reconstruction of a mammoth with major sight lines to illustrate how pre-historic artists derived a shape they could translate into lithic material representations

Close up of mammoth figure #2

 
Mammoth figure #3 in abstracted geometric form surrounded by other shaped stones in immediate context

Adam Arkfeld with a giant stone plaque (#4) found among the other figures here. It resembles an elephant head in the straight-on view, as if facing the front of the animal.

 Suspected mammoth head figure #5 with an eye and perhaps an ear as if it is flapped forward

Mammoth head figure #6

Mammoth head figure #7 as if viewing the animal head-on

Mammoth head figure #8 already seen on this blog