23 March 2013
Left-handed tool is breathing bird head with human face icon on posterior, a motif providing a rare glimpse into the spiritual lives of Stone Age cultures
Ken Johnston find, Licking County, Ohio
I interpret this as a combination bird head and tool form, with a nostril in the anatomically correct position on the beak to "animate the stone with the breath of life." These kinds of artifacts likely express some portion of the spiritual lives of their makers and are ready to provide archaeologists a rare view into the beliefs of the cultures who made them. Every stone and rock and flake in archaeological contexts needs to be considered for visual properties or we are doing a profound disservice to our human heritage. In my opinion, every archaeological site ever worked has been compromised, even destroyed, if visual properties of the site lithics were not considered.
Side 2 of combination bird head and tool with scale
Close up of human face icon. Finds such as this confirm the observations of American figure stone researcher Alan Day of Cambridge, Ohio. Day identified this pattern of bird forms combining anthropomorphic imagery 10 years ago.
A view of the sharp edge of the tool, a possible scraper or cutter