17 August 2015

Miles Point, Talbott County, Maryland, site tool assemblege 'anvil' dated at ca. 21,000 BP should be investigated as a possible human head paleosculpture

Ken Johnston interpreted human head sculpture in typical left 3/4 profile

Darrin L. Lowery find, Miles Point, Talbott County Maryland, 2006. Radio carbon dated by soil context to 21,000 BP.

The 'anvil' in situ with associated tools. It immediately struck me as resembling a human head form typical in portable rock art. It was left with these other stone objects and covered by loess. The Smithsonian Institution has described the find as a related assemblage.

Here is a video featuring the head in left 3/4 profile seen in the 'anvil' discovered in a Paleolithic tool context by now Dr. Lowery. You may enter the video at 22:17 and get an introduction to this find by Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution.



The archaeological site has since been physically destroyed by the landowner. If the Smithsonian Institution or Dr. Lowery has the anvil stone, it should be evaluated as a possibly sculpted human head likeness.

It is also just as possible it was used as an anvil- it could have been a decorated tool incorporating iconography into a functional piece.

Here is the anvil (sculpture) with an illustration of the interpreted human head left 3/4 profile features which could be evaluated for artificiality.

Depending on how one focuses visual attention on features of the stone, it is possible to interpret a second face looking straight on with a frowning mouth and possible human depiction of the motif 'lion taking a bite of the head with damage or removal of the left eye and the distortion of injury to the left side of the face.'

A piece like this may be seen as including a neutral or content facial expression and an expression of an unhappy one. This is seen in other examples on this blog.

In this example from Flint Ridge, Ohio, two human facial profiles are worked on the same stone. This is a real bi-face!

The first may be interpreted as a content or even smiling face and the second on the reverse side may be interpreted as frowning or grimacing. (Click photos to expand.) It is my hypothesis this motif may be depicting the human condition before and after a symbolic lion bite to the head. The lion aspect is seen more explicitly in other postings on this blog and this motif is related to two important 'Old World' palaeoart memes as described by Dr. James Harrod at originsnet.org.

The Miles Point, Maryland, anvil stone may have been an object imbued with symbolism which was important to its makers. The combined happy and frowning face masks have also been seen here in two sculptures from the Arkfeld Site in Clear Brook, Virginia.

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