30 July 2016

Black flint artifact from the Island of Oléron, France, has 'face on rhomboid' and 'water bird cresting human forehead' art motifs

'Face mask on rhomboid' art motif
Henri Valentie pierre-figure find, Island of Oléron, France

Mr. Valentie writes: Here is a stone figure of 11/10/10 cm black flint (typical of the island of Oléron). We can see beautiful retouching down on the right of the photo on the first picture. We notice the absence of the left eye. On the 2nd it is rather a feline head ? Piece found on the island of Oléron. amitiées, Henri

In another view of this same stone is a quasi-anthropomorphic head with face and neck. I think this is a human depiction where the human has has an elongated animal-like nose or muzzle as Paleolithic art author R. Dale Guthrie has described. On the top the human head is a duck-like bird head figure profile facing left.

I interpret the figure of the head of a water bird cresting the human's forehead. Here is an illustration of the interpreted human and bird elements of this view of the sculpture.

"Many human faces in Paleolithic art look a little like those of large mammals, with an elongated nose or muzzle. These are my drawings to illustrate the character or flavor of this gradient"
(c) Copyright R. Dale Guthrie, "The Nature of Paleolithic Art," 2005, page 92

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