Denisovan Ancestry in East Eurasian and Native American Populations

12 May 2012

Hoard #3 of 7: split and chipped flint boulder with zooanthropomorphic qualities, which has analogs from Germany and Oregon, U.S.A.

Buckeye Lake, Ohio, flint sculpture hoard #3 seen here has analogs identified separately by two amateur archaeologists as humanly worked iconic artifacts, one in Germany and one in Oregon, U.S.A. To my mind, the Ohio sculpture somewhat resembles a bear's head like in this view.

Reconstruction of Arctodus simus Sergiodlarosa: the now extinct American short-faced bear

This side is covered in crystals. One of them is reflecting the sunlight here.

In the upper right is a possible skull form similar to the one identified on the hoard sculpture #1, human head in the round and as identified by Luigi Ciapparoli in cliff rock art in Italy. Please see the posting for hoard sculpture #1 for more about this skull form. The circle highlights a possible eye marking. In the lower right, the crystals have been ground to present eyes, nose and mouth in distressed visual relief with an arch in the stonework representing the top of the head. Please note the angle of slope of the right side of the sculpture because a similar type of slope is seen on the German and Oregon sculptures pictured below.

Reverse side of hoard sculpture #3 is a sculpted anthropomorphic head seen in right profile view

Can you see the worked face in the crystals? Refer to markups in the photo above left to locate features on the picture at right. The left eye is a crystal with modification of surrounding crystals to make it more clearly stand out in visual relief. The left eye was a crystal ground down by the artist to create a cloudy and flatter presentation than the right eye, perhaps in the known "one eye open, one eye closed/missing" motif in world palaeoart. (click photos to expand view) Toggle between photos in the slideshow to allow the markups to show how the work on the crystals creates the subtle face.

Gross Pampau, Germany

Buckeye Lake, Ohio

Photo at TOP is Copyright (c) Ursel Benekendorff, All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or distribute in any way. Used with permission. When I saw this identified as a sculpture by Ursel Benekendorff, I immediately recognized a strong similarity to the Ohio hoard sculpture #3. Please note the like angle of slope of the right side on the sculptures in this posting. In the milky color in the upper right of the German sculpture, one may see faces or masks, one skull-like looking to lower right and one face-like looking to the lower left. The heads are joined at the nape of the neck, looking somewhat like the common presentation of the modern masks of comedy and tragedy. The milky area appears to have been worked to finish off the faces with the needed elements not provided fortuitously by the lithic material. The Ohio example has also been interpreted to have a skull form and face form in relief rather than manipulation of thin layers of differing flint coloration to achieve the images. This German example is from the Gross Pampau site identified by Benekendorff.

The Buckeye Lake, Ohio, sculpture with a find identified as a worked figurine by 50 year amateur archaeologist Dennis Boggs, at Irrigon, Oregon. Dennis found his portable rock art objects between the foothills of the mountains lining the Columbia River and the valley floor.

Despite its smaller size, note the similarity in form of the Oregon figure to the Ohio and Germany examples. It has an angled slope on the right side as well.

Side 2 of the Oregon zooanthropomorphic figurine with interpretive markups. 

Find by Dennis Boggs, Irrigon, Oregon, and generously gifted to


1 comment:

  1. Hi Ken,
    Yes, the bear's head really clearly defined.
    In the area of the face, is there also a profile/ with the white part + the back leg if turned 90 degrees, like the head of a horse?