19 January 2015

"Topplehead" anthropomorphic PAC-MAN like stone stands upright in a perfectly precarious position and may be symbolic of a breaching whale

Dennis Boggs find near Boardman, Oregon, identified as an anthropomorphic head sculpture by Dennis in this iteration of a typology he identified in his collection.

Profile view of anthropomorphic head sculpture with scale



In this short video, the stone topples over after a puff of air is applied from an off-camera air can, demonstrating the tolerances to which it is balance-engineered.

-Interpretation of the "engineered to balance precariously" aspect by Ken Johnston, curator of the Boggs collection.  The stone can balance and topple over with the slightest movement or vibration or force applied to it as in the example of the air puff here.

-This is a PAC-MAN like anthropomorphic stone engineered to the tipping point. The PAC-MAN stone sculptures have been identified by several North American amatuer archaeologists in addition to Dennis Boggs.

-Prepared tripod base allows forward roll of stone

-Large, sculpted "eye" area on one side

-Open mouth anthropomorphic imagery, as in a shout or laugh. Possible breaching whale imagery.

-Similar to other PAC-MAN like stones identified by Dennis Boggs in the Columbia River Valley.

-Similar to a stone identified as a balanced laughing stone figure or "Bobblehead" from the Boggs collection. The bases on the two sculptures have both been engineered in the same way.



Profile views of the PAC-MAN like anthropomorphic balancing stone. Could it have been a novelty or a toy? Or an earthquake early warning detector?

My hypothesis is that this object represents a whale figure which has been given a smiling human quality and that it stands and falls over in a symbolic demonstration of the whale breaching and smacking the water. To make the stone topple, the puff of air from the air can must be applied to the approximate area of the whale figure's "blow hole."

Another Oregon whale sculpture has already been described from the Boggs collection.









Please note the anthropomorphic smiling quality on the face of this breaching humpback whale off the Pacific North American coast.  Compare the "smiles" of the whale and the whale sculpture. This human-like quality in the gigantic animal was realized in the manufacture of this Oregon portable rock art sculpture.

"Human head mixed to animal head" is a primary sculpture motif of the Lower and Middle Paleolithic according to Pietro Gaietto:

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