24 May 2015

Day's Knob, Ohio site #33GU218, reports two new figure stone finds

Alan Day find, Day's Knob, Guernsey County, Ohio

"Here are two nice new limestone Figure Stone finds from my site in Ohio, same provenience, roughly 25 cm below the current terrain surface.  In the larger piece, note the incorporation of both utility and imagery that is common at this site." - Alan Day

Alan Day demonstrates the utilitarian aspect of the figure. Day says rock art researcher Mrs. Ursel Benekendorff of Hamburg, Germany, has suggested this pointed end of the sculpture may have been used to plant it in the ground at varying locations.

Ken Johnston interpretation of a bird head mixed in with the female figure

The female figure may also incorporate bird imagery. The bottom of the woman's legs may be seen as the beak of a goose-like flying water bird. There is a circular bas relief "eye" in a more or less anatomically correct position for such a bird figure.

Canada Goose head while in flight


Figure stone number two recently recovered at Day's Knob.

While it may initially appear amorphous, when taken in context with other limestone figures from the site it presents a familiar iconography. Day has confirmed human agency on a number of figures from his site by consulting with a geologic petrologist.

Day's Knob archaeological site location of recent finds

(left) This tiny female figurine comes from 6500 BP. It is found on the Po plain in Northern Italy and measures 6 cm. Thanks to the tapered lower body the figurine can easily be inserted into the ground. The Lady wears a fertility girdle and a red chain. She has short arms and a small head with long hair or a veil. Source: Venus is geen Vamp, Annine van der Meer. Ohio female figure is at right.

(left two panels) The 'Woman with Goitre' from Grimaldi Italy was found between 3 and 4.2 m deep in a layer which is probably the Epigravettian. A radiocarbon date of 14,110+/-150 BP. From Don's Maps. Photo: Randall White, Source: White (2002), Day's Knob, Ohio, USA, artifact at right.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Ken...

    Thanks for the nice presentation of my latest finds. These were quite serendipitous, just stumbled upon a couple weeks ago while I was showing the professional archaeologist and another fellow now working here the bank at the edge of the part of the site that was destroyed by 20th. century limestone quarrying.

    I will eventually show more photos ot the pretty lady on my own long-neglected web site (along with a lot of other stuff). Since the photos shown here are from an email to numerous people, I didn't go into the details, but you're spot on in noticing the bird imagery. Indeed it's the classic "Bird-Venus" motif I identified here several years ago: When rotated 90 ° (clockwise in this case) the figure becomes a flying bird. Common enough, but this piece is exciting (to me, anyway) in that it bears a very close resemblance to the Paleolithic European "Venuses" right down to the pointed base. (Do a Google image search on "Paleolithic Venus" to see what I mean.) Apparently this is one of quite a few Primal Imagery themes that covered a lot of territory (likely generally west-to-east) over many millennia. (Tentatively I'm thinking the material in this stratum here is likely generalized Archaic Period in age, possibly older.)

    Other weathered imagery at the tip of the base corresponds to my proposed widespread "Creature from Posterior" motif. And elsewhere on this piece are the very common subparallel incision lines that have been around pretty much forever.

    Ursel Benekendorff just emailed me her insightful conjecture that the pointed base facilitated mounting the figure in the ground. (Analogous, I guess, to the pointed bases on our stupid little solar-charged garden lanterns.)

    Regards, Alan Day

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  2. I have been finding some fine pieces of art and would like to know more about the things that I am finding.

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