07 November 2017

New Western Montana portable rock art site has a dramatic natural backdrop

'Owl sculpture'
Wade Holmes finds and collection, Western Montana

This is a classic, simple Paleolithic owl sculpture made with a minimal amount of work but invoking the essential imagery for recognition. The context of all the other figurative art from this site supports the interpretation of an intentionally sculpted owl on this obviously worked cobble.

Summer Solstice sunset view from the Wade Homes portable rock art site

'Feline bust in profile facing right'

'Feline face looking straight on'

Feline depicted with 'one eye open, other closed or missing.' Ken Johnston illustration of carved elliptical right eye and left eye made by a straight incised line.

Wade Holmes interpretation of a worked stone resembling the head of a mammoth as if being viewed straight on. Wade's drawing provides a visual context for his interpretation. There are indeed two 'eyes' on this figure. Ken Johnston illustration of possible hand-hold on this object. Some figures like this may have been held in the hand like toys, or puppets or story-telling props. 

A couple of mammoths with interpretations by Wade Holmes

'Mammoth facing right with prominent tusk representation'

Eye, tusk and trunk line illustrated by Ken Johnston

At left is a 'sleeping water bird' sculpture and at right a 'mammoth' sculpture.  The water bird has a beautifully curved neck, its head tucked into its back feathers and has a tail and wing details. The mammoth, which is in profile facing left, may also be interpreted as a lion head facing right, where the mammoth and lion share the same 'ear' and the dark spot toward the top-middle edge is the lion's eye. Many examples of this 'mammoth/lion facing away from each other' motif have been described on this blog and it will eventually prove to be one of the great sculpture types of Paleolithic North America.

 An animal-like figure with evidence of human-directed bashing and marking

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