17 August 2016

An Ohio sculpture in the 'Mammoth profile with human face profile on its posterior' Paleolithic art motif may have relation to Russia example

Ken Johnston find, Licking County, Ohio

This sculpture was found in soil disturbed for landscaping purposes and within 50 yards of a few other mammoth and human combination sculptures which have been featured on this blog. It was found directly on the advancement line of the Wisconsin glaciation and terminal moraines are visible from the find location  of this sculpture.


The sculpture stands upright on a flat base which has been created by grinding

A rock patina created by human fingers contact while the base was ground flat

This mammoth figure from the Avdeevo, Russia, archaeology site was featured in Bahn and Lister's book Mammoths: Giants of the Ice Age. The mammoth is facing left and I interpret a faint but present icon of a human face on the posterior of the mammoth in right 3/4 profile. Dates given for Avdeevo are 22 800 ± 160, 23 140 ± 430, and 23 400 ± 700. Adam Arkfeld noted a similarity of this artifact to mammoth sculptures from his Clear Brook, Virginia, archaeology site.

I propose the motif seen in both the Ohio and Russia examples implies some kind of cultural or traditional relatedness spanning at least 4,600 miles.

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