04 July 2016

The oldest directly dated artifact in America tested with U-series dating is ca. 38,000 to 40,000 years old and has human and animal images

The oldest directly dated artifact in America

Discovered By Ken Stanton, Amateur geo-archaeologist at Phoenix, AZ, and professionally date tested and artifact assessed.

Uranium-series dating of the carbonate accumulation on a worked surface yielded dates ca. 38,000 to 40,000 years before present.

The oldest directly dated artifact in America at Phoenix, Arizona, has a human face image with eyes worked in typical portable rock at fashion. It is in the upper left quadrant of the top photo.

When the stone is rotated 90 degrees to the right, I interpret a possible animal head representation in left profile view.

Illustration of the interpreted animal head

On another artifact from the Ken Stanton site is a representation of a simple human face with a rabbit head image looking to the upper left from the human's forehead. An alternate and equally valid interpretation is of a standing rabbit figure with a human face on its side.

These are polymorphic figures a typical portable rock art motif seen in many postings on this blog. They are of similar execution to achieve the images on the same kind of stone material, probably desired for its solid white color and light-reflective properties.

The presence of two artifacts from the same in-situ site, with similar modifications and with typical iconic properties, supports the hypothesis that these are intentional art works. Being with the oldest directly dated artifact in America makes them the oldest dated American art and among the 10 or 20 oldest dated artworks in the world.


In 2012 Ken Stanton, an amateur geo-archaeologist, identified suspected stone tools exposed in a suspected Pleistocene cemented breccia or debris flow at Phoenix, Arizona. (The two reddish items look like a bird figure and an elongated human head figure with two eyes, a nose and an open mouth.)

Ken Stanton finds at Phoenix, Arizona, in this context.

Read the archaeologist's report and the geochronologist's report here.

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