Denisovan Ancestry in East Eurasian and Native American Populations

31 December 2012

"Mysterious Traces in the High Trebbia River Valley"

Find and photo by rock art investigator Luigi Chiapparoli, Mt. Logo at Montarsolo, Italy

This Italian landscape subtle relief mask serves as a marker for an area producing a wide variety of prehistoric portable stone arts, identified by Luigi Chiapparoli, Piacenza, and seen at his photo gallery. Size of this giant face is approx 3 x 3 meters.


27 December 2012

A Lower Palaeolithic twinkle in the eye from The Netherlands

A Lower Palaeolithic twinkle in the eye from the collection of archaeologist Jan van Es, The Netherlands


24 December 2012

14 December 2012

Listen to the rock: Denis Argaut of France makes a masterful interpretation of a horse head figure stone on which a realistic sound of a galloping horse is recorded

Rock art investigator Denis Argaut, (FR), blog Formes de' ombres. Find and interpretation as a "rocking horse," a horse head figure with a realistic galloping horse soundtrack demonstrated on YouTube by Mr. Argaut.

Horse head looking left

Watch the horse head rock back and forth and listen to the sound of the galloping horse

Please compare this illustration to the image of the rock seen in the still image on the YouTube screen above it. Ken Johnston interprets a possible mammoth depiction here, where the mammoth is seen in profile view facing right. The curvature of the mammoth head and trunk is seen in the outline of the stone as seen on the right side in the YouTube picture above. The horse head can be seen as being depicted on the posterior of the mammoth image (just to the left of the play button), a technique of combining images in the Paleolithic noted already on this blog.

Denis Argaut's interpretation is masterful and demonstrates how closely all rock material at archaeological sites must be scrutinized for "unusual" art properties. Mr. Arguat's special interest is in Stone Age exploitation of light and shadow in artistic expression. Ironically, he has made what must be recognized as a significant discovery in the realm of sound signal analysis in rock art.

A note from Denis Argaut:

Hello Ken,
Thank you for your comments and I will investigate whether this stone can be
as a mammoth. Know that this stone offers already several figures
(see attachments), a unique rotation (see video), a set animaton
sound and visual of the horse. Also a figure a little strange just reveal a
eye formed a small stone embedded in the block ... After at least fifty
hours of observation of this stone, I have the feeling that there is still
much to find ...

If this does not trouble you, I will send you other videos on other
horses. Let me give you a tip, n 'wait until the summer to
watch your stones in favor of the darkness. A simple flashlight
Just ... My method is this: I first searches the positions of
equilibria of the stone. Often an equilibrium position offers a
major form of the stone and s which can animate by tilting. Make no
mistake, find sound effects corresponding to the shape may request
several hours ... Hope to discover the expression of different
"creative vectors" that man has mastered in stone, it seems
that must guide every HUMILITY not research! humility
essential to consider the stone as possible receptacle of the
intelligence and dare to give this intelligence the ability to have in
LEADING place and knowledge-how that we know more ...!
The expression of the shadows we will in large part to ever
inaccessible because it emanates from a sensibility, an alertness of observation
and an "addiction" to shadows that we have become totally

If found by the shadows that is a leap backwards, that is first
leap into the unknown with innocence and humility.

Regards Denis
"Ombre qui danse"


13 December 2012

Microsculpture possibilities: skull, scream and grin masks on piece of exotic material from the Columbia River valley

Dennis Boggs find, Irrigon, Oregon, along the Columbia River

After a couple of years communication with archaeologist Jan van Es of The Netherlands, I have come to recognize some of the microlithic techniques of stonework and their visual hallmarks. This stone is of highly unusual stone material in the Dennis Boggs portable rock art collection.  

I used my Bausch & Lomb 10x lighted scope to examine the pebble to confirm traces of intentional stone removal to create the images. It has three likely areas of stonework, creating three possible "human mask" images on the one pebble.  Rock art scholars will need to develop the scientific skills to confirm intentional workmanship on objects such as this. Anomalies which go unexamined (unexplained) by archaeology leave its public looking elsewhere for cogent explanations of their finds and observations.  Above, the scream mask and the grin mask are seen in the same view. The mouth of the scream mask is the nose of the grin mask while they share the same left eye.

Skull mask (click photos to expand and compare)

 Scream mask

Grin mask (face in left profile), created by an intentionally incised line on the stone


07 December 2012

A standing stone head with bas relief facial details and white paint traces could have been a hanging corded pendant

A standing stone head with bas relief facial details and white paint traces
Find by Ken Johnston, Licking County, Ohio, near Buckeye Lake

This is the first of the art objects I discovered in my agriculture field hunting in Licking County, Ohio, about 15 years ago. At first glance I thought it was a notched pebble or possibly a net sinker but then I noticed the eyes, nose and mouth of the facial features. I have not seen anything looking like it or using the same manufacture techniques in the intervening years, attesting to the anomalous nature of this object to my central Ohio locale. 

15 years ago, I dismissed this piece as likely insignificant because I perceived it as "crude and unsophisticated" thanks to the indoctrination I was receiving from the archaeology mainstream about the "high art nature of good and worthy" Native American art. Nowadays, I keep returning to the same area to look for more but no-till farming is not providing the soil access I had 15 years ago. Other suspected tools and art objects in area are thought to be Paleolithic (9000+ years old).

There are traces of white paint on the artifact. This substance would be ideal for scientific archaeological analysis and could provide insight into the material culture of the person who produced this stone head.

My inerpretation of the piece speculated it was used as a pendant hanging around ones neck where the hole wore through in use and the piece was then used as an idol standing on its neck base. The illustration above shows the back side the pendant as it would face ones chest. Areas of stone wear on the artifact suggest the pendant could have been handled significantly while being worn by someone. If the person were right handed, there is a nice thumb pad on one side and two notches which perfectly accomodate the index and middle fingers on the other side. 

Heavy handling evidenced by this wear may have been responsible for the original hole wearing through and leaving the current gap in the center of the top of the head. 

Seen from above with scale

As an alternate explanation for the "horned aspect" of the Ohio figure's head, German rock art archaeologist Ursel Benekendorff noted the Ohio artifact's resemblance to known depictions of Celtic warriors from Germany. Maybe it was not a corded pendant but was designed to have a split head from the start in accordance with some cultural tradition, Celtic or other. Interestingly, the Ohio Licking River valley is home to burial mounds, the largest geometric earthwork in the world, and a possible sacra via, similar to descriptions of the German Celtic site at Glauberg.

The Ohio figure on a small easel

"Warrier of Glauberg" 2500 years before present


04 December 2012

Flint Ridge, Ohio, "rock hound" may have found an example of a flint and crystal lion head expressed in a familiar scheme

Anonymous rock collector may have found a stunning example of a flint and crystal lion's head facing left at Flint Ridge, Licking County, Ohio. (click photos to expand and compare)

"Little bear from the Boukoul site. V.O.A. Jasper stone under 2 cm" from archaeologist Jan van Es, The Netherlands. (bottom) Ken Johnston interpretation and markup of lion mouth and eye in the photo to illustrate how the bear may be made within the lion head "template" or "scheme." Thus, this could be interpreted as a possible polymorphic piece, lion head and bear. van Es notes the piece is heavily patinated. 

Three previously posted Ohio examples are shown below. The last one is patinated in a spot as if rubbed by the human hand.

 The size of this Upper Mercer flint lion's head is closer to the Boukoul, Netherlands, example

American lion head reconstrction