15 November 2015

38 pound rock collected by artifact hunter exhibits classic mammoth form, has a ground mammoth 'eye,' felines on its back and on its side

'Mammoth and feline combination sculpture' interpretation by Ken Johnston

Rock collected by Anonymous near Saddle Mountain, Oregon. The stone material is identified as 'agatized peat bog'

Illustration of a ground mammoth 'eye' in correct anatomical position (highlighted by yellow circle) with feline on the mammoth's back, looking in the opposite direction.

If one considers a body attached to the head of the feline, the mammoth's head dome becomes the raised haunches of the feline, perhaps in the lumbar lordosis position of a cat in estrus. The feline's 'tail' is also the 'trunk' of the mammoth.

There appears to be a feline depicted in a carve-out on the side of the mammoth and under the belly of the larger cat, perhaps showing this smaller feline as a newborn or 'in the womb.' Its head is surrounded by the stone coloration of red and deep purple. The head has ears, eyes, nose, mouth, chin. Its back is arched in typical feline fashion.

I propose two additional figures nested within the others. In the larger circle is another feline face with a triangular shaped eye and a round eye. Portable rock art researcher Jan van Es of Roermond, Netherlands, has written about the significance of the pairing of these two geometric shapes (personal communication). The nose of the feline face is in darker stone and I have highlighted the mouth in red just below it. Perhaps this is the male feline of a family of three.

In the smaller circle is a human head or face mask. The forehead of the human coincides perfectly with the crest of the mammoth's head, which is a North American paleoart motif documented several times on this blog. It implies a strong human association with this giant animal.

Click on and toggle between the photos to compare the illustrated and non-illustrated versions.

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