08 December 2016

'Mammoth cresting human forehead' motif on an ocher-stained carved plaquette from Missouri

'Mammoth cresting human forehead' motif on an ocher-stained carved plaquette. Stacy Dodd and Rod Weber find, The Old Route 66 Zoo Site, near Joplin, Missouri. Site #23JP1222.

Illustration of the human and mammoth profiles facing left, where the mammoth is depicted on top of the human's head. This is a North American Paleolithic art motif identified on this blog. The person's mouth is deeply incised which disambiguates the plaquette and says "this is an intended human form" despite the rest of the stonework being relatively vague.

Stacy Dodd processed his photo of the sculpture with the D-Stretch rock art digital enhancement tool for Image-J and it reveals yellow and red ocher stains which are only barely visible to the naked eye in the original photo. The ocher stains suggest intentional decoration of the plaquette or perhaps even ceremonial use of those pigment substances while handling it.

A human-mammoth hybrid from European cave art was traced by Brad Lepper of The Ohio History Connection.

Licking County, Ohio, example of a human face profile with a mammoth head cresting the human's forehead, was found in the context of other mammoth sculptures and menhirs near my home on the former glacial swamp now known as Buckeye Lake. This was the first one I identified but many more have now been documented on this blog.

There is a head of a second mammoth-like creature depicted facing right on the back of the human's head. An 'eye,' 'tusk,' 'trunk' and 'curved head' are diagnostic elements of the animal. The tusk is defined by an incised line in the stone and the 'eye' has been gouged out in the correct anatomical position.

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