Denisovan Ancestry in East Eurasian and Native American Populations

31 August 2013

Mammoth and bear illusion carved on tan and white quartz from South Carolina

Buzzy Boles carved quartz find, Laurens County, South Carolina. Interpreted as a mammoth head and trunk viewed straight-on. Buzzy has identified other portable rock art finds, including probable mammoth sculptures

Mammoth and bear depictions simultaneously depending on how one focuses visual attention on the carving. Markups along with unaltered photos for comparisons.

In addition to the mammoth visage as if looking at it head on here, I interpret a second animal figuration, possibly a bear, turned as if looking to the left. These kinds of combination of forms into one, requiring a shifting of one's visual attention from one figure to another, may be seen as optical illusions intended by the creator of the sculpture.

Interpreted by Mr. Boles as having two mammoth visages. Here is the second mammoth head and trunk as if being viewed head-on. Buzzy has identified several likely mammoth figure stones. The stone material of this one is very similar to this Ohio quartz mammoth material. It is possible some forms called for certain types of rock material to be used, or that some rock material called for certain forms to be made of it.


29 August 2013

Mammoth Spring, Arkansas, portable rock art finds identified by Jeff Vincent include known "face on rhombus" and tabular limestone bird sculpture motifs

 Jeff Vincent find, Mammoth Spring, Arkansas

Jeff has identified several portable rock art sculpture forms at his site in Mammoth Springs, Arkansas. The "face on rhombus" was first described by German Pleistocene rock art pioneer Ursel Benekendorff whose proto-sculpture and sculpture finds from northern Germany date to ca. 475,000 years before present. Jeff's example here likely also exhibits the "one eye open, one eye closed or missing" motif associated with some of the human face mask art objects of the European Lower and Middle Palaeolithic.

Jeff Vincent holds a typical looking limestone bird sculpture made using a buffer technique on a tabular stone blank to trim away the rock to create the desired profile of a bird. The rhombus and the bird help create a context which supports the likely further productivity of this Arkansas location for additional art and tool finds. Please keep us informed of your finds Jeff.


19 August 2013

A Nethers Flint bird sculpture from Muskingum County, Ohio

A Nethers Flint bird sculpture from Muskingum County, Ohio

Ventral view of a colorful Nethers Flint bird form made on a large flake, from the Vanport formation in east central Ohio. The ventral side was detached from the parent stone core. It measures 15.5cm by 6.6cm.

A context of other flint bird sculptures of similar form supports the hypothesis this was an intentionally created bird icon. The artist selected a nice color-banded piece of stone material. It does not have ground eyes or other added features which signify an artists intent to realize the bird form but the selection of material and presentation of two birds make it more likely this was conceived as a bird sculpture than it was an "accident." The black and white and color bands in this flint are diagnostic of Nethers Flint, which can be sourced to a quarry on the modern day farm of John Nethers.

Dorsal side view of the flake bird sculpture which was set up by the artist on a prepared flint core. Some of the rust-colored cortex of the stone is retained by the artist to make a wing depiction.


15 August 2013

Bird sculptures made from prepared cores

Bird figure in flint, Muskingum County, Ohio

Side 2 of the bird figure

The bird has a patch of quartz crystals on its head, like a sparkling crest, the only crystals on the piece. There is also an "eye" on the bird, increasing the chances of human intent to create the figure.

Patch of crystals catches the light

The bird perched in my hand

Two bird figures found 5 miles from each other, along Flint Ridge in east central Ohio demonstrate similar morphology. This indicates the creation of figures may have been widely practiced at Flint Ridge in prehistory. The bird figure at right was featured in an earlier post.

The two bird figures are very close in size. They are sculpted in core preparation and then separated leaving a 3D type bird and a "flat" bird on the side detached from the core.


11 August 2013

Human figure in quartz sandstone from Ohio site #33GU218 may also include a mammoth depiction, similar to the mammoth and human figures seen in the prior posting

The stone may also depict a mammoth in profile looking right here with the "domed head," "eye" and a "trunk" on its right edge, similar to the Ohio example featured in the prior posting and in several others on this blog. "The human and mammoth combination sculpture" may be something to look for along the former glacial margins in North America.


08 August 2013

Buckeye Lake, Ohio, quartz sculpture depicts three mammoth forms, two human faces and a lion with one reflective eye

Quartz mammoth sculpture in silhouette facing left, from Buckeye Lake, Ohio

The mammoth is often represented in this form, depicting its imposing height and the "domed head" as prominent defining features. The sculpture stands upright on a perfectly flat base. It was found in the context of cobble and pebble tools from a trench at a depth of about two feet. It was found about 100 feet from the "Buckeye Lake paleolithic flint sculpture hoard" of 7 sculptures found in immediate proximity in another trench on my 1/2 acre property.

Quartz is an exotic lithic material to the mostly drab native Ohio bedrock of limestones and sandstones. It is imported as glacial till to central Ohio in the Illinoian and Wisconsinin ages, with terminal moraines and outwash flows from both episodes being found within a few miles of each other in this locale. The Appalacial Plateau slowed or stopped the glaciers in this area. Much of this exotic material can probably be traced to the mountains of Canada to the north.

Side 2 depicts a 2nd mammoth form in profile, facing right

Artifact shown with scale. The flat edge at left is the base of the sculpture which presents it in correct viewing orientation

In addition to the overall stone shape as a whole representing a mammoth on the figure's two sides, there is a third, smaller, mammoth figure facing left here and a human face profile facing right nested in the sculptural image.

The the mammoth form with a human depiction at its posterior is a North American palaeoart motif established on this blog and first documented by Ursel Benekendorff from the Lower Paleolithic site of Gross Pampau, Germany, dated approx. 475,000 years before present. Like the Acheulean handaxe and other tool traditions, this art tradition has persisted for many tens of thousands of years.

My markup of the photo illustrating my interpretations. Chris Smith find, San Sabo County, Texas, also depicts a human face on the back of a mammoth sculpture, as do several others featured on this blog.

On the lower back side of the sculpture, is a worked human face figure on what is the posterior of the mammoth. The normal natural fractal pattern of the quartz crystals has been disturbed to create the facial elements and is evident under 10x lighted magnification.

Artifacts like this are confirmable by qualified archaeological and petrological scientists but no one in an official capacity sees a reason to do so. This ignores a large portion of the available stone traces of our human past and distorts it significantly. Art is much more likely to inform us of the lives of our ancestors than "tool sets," which have been falsely defined as "cultures" by orthodox archaeologists. 

A close up of the human face in carved quartz crystals illustrated in the photo at above right

One-eyed lion head on same quartz stone

The mammoth's eye from the right profile view of the whole stone (as in 2nd photo from top) is also the shiney right eye of a one-eyed feline head depicted on the front of the sculpture. Perhaps this stone lion is depicted atop its prey, much like real large cats will sit on top of their prey feasting until sunrise.

Close up of mammoth and lion eye shared element. It becomes light reflective only from a single perspective when rotating the stone. This is a close up view of the eye at the moment it catches the light. 

The one-eyed lion is a motif in Paleolithic portable rock art also found on a flint sculpture 10 miles from the Buckeye Lake quartz example, as well as a ceramic art piece from the European Dolni Vestonice archaeological site. It has also been identified on a figure found by Luigi Ciapparroli in northern Italy.


06 August 2013

Human head flint effigy from The Netherlands demonstrates the subtle artistry of portable rock art

Identified as a worked mini-sculpture of a human head profile looking left by archaeologist Jan van Es, The Netherlands. The small black dot on the upper left edge is a feature in the stone which serves as the person's "eye," with nose, mouth and chin completing the subtle but palpable image.


04 August 2013

Small translucent human head pebble figure from Oregon shares iconography with larger Missouri and The Netherlands examples

Dennis Boggs find, Irrigon, Oregon

This is a worked representation of a human head profile looking left with an elongated face and nose. There is no apparent tool use for this object and the attention to detail in the micro-sculpting of this pebble, its likeness to an anthropomorphic image and its likeness to other suspected sculptures suggests the work was done to realize the image. Mr. Boggs has collected suspected tools and art objects from along the Columbia River at Irrigon, Oregon for almost 50 years and generously gifted his finds to this blog so they could shared with a wide audience. (enter BOGGS in the blog search box at right for a list of other postings related to this collection)

From Jan van Es, The Netherlands, a long-faced human head rock which shares iconographic similarity with the Oregon sculpted pebble

The Oregon pebble face is translucent and has red inclusions in the amber orange color 

The pebble has been split to open up a side for the sculpture. (LEFT) The cortex on the left side and the worked surface on the right side. (RIGHT) the raw stone surface or cortex

Cortex view with CM scale (approx. 4cm long)

Dennis Boggs' Oregon pebble artifact on left, Keith Stamper Missouri artifact with similar iconography on right was found in context of Levallois technique tools. Jan van Es said he recognizes the Keith Stamper stone as strikingly similar to typical early Neanderthaler art he has studied dated 300,000 to 150,000 years before present.

Here is a markup on the Oregon artifact illustrating the interpreted facial features, white eye, black base of nose and red mouth. The eye is small bit of flint in bas relief which was retained in the "correct" position by the skilled rock artist here. (Click photos to expand. Toggle with your mouse from last to first photos in the series to see the illustration of the intentional flint work to execute the anthropomorphic facial image.)


01 August 2013

American sculpted shapes imply broad aesthetic appeal through time and distance

 Dennis Boggs find, Irrigon, Oregon. I think this could be an abstract standing pregnant female in right profile form being depicted by selected removal of a stone layer, leaving a bulging rounded shape on the lower right side here.

LEFT: "An Acheulean hand axe from the Somme valley, northern France. Hand axes show variation in form, being oval, triangular, or “teardrop” in shape. Note the symmetrical form of this example and the large number of flake scars, typical of many examples from west of the Movius Line."

RIGHT: side 2 of Irrigon, Oregon sculpted stone. (click photos to expand)

The geometric shaping of this Oregon stone was probably inspired by the raw material, white quartz with alternating tan layers

Side view of the sculpted stone

A Knox County, Ohio, flint from my collection, ca. 8,000 to 3,000 BP 

The Ohio flint on top of the Oregon quartz sculpture for size and shape comparison

(Left) Oregon sculpture, (center) Acheulean handaxe, Morocco, N. Africa, (right) Ohio

Here is another similarly shaped stone with a rounded feature in bas relief which may be a representation of a pregnant woman. It was featured in an earlier posting because it includes additional imagery.