Denisovan Ancestry in East Eurasian and Native American Populations

30 December 2014

Petrified wood bird figures from the Big Dry Creek watershed at Westminster, Colorado

Identified as sculpted petrified wood bird figures by Chris Schram, Westminster, Colorado, in a context of other examples as featured on this blog and at Chris's site linked below.

From Big Dry Creek watershed, Westminster, Colorado, Chris Schram collection

Petrified palmwood bird figure, Chris Schram collection.  More photos from the Chris Schram collection, Denver, Colorado area


  1. Wow!
    Outstanding. Beautiful sculptures.
    Great find.
    Trade you a limestone bird for a petrified bird any time.

  2. Hi Ken...

    These are some excellent finds! Thanks for posting them. Looking at photos on Chris's own website, I see other apparent artifacts very much in the same form, very good from the standpoint of demonstrating replicability. Specifically, those you show explicitly display the very common theme of a bird with a distended belly. Of course it's often hard to tell from a photo, but I think the second piece you show may incorporate a simple downward face (eye/mouth) profile on the belly, consistent with the "Creature From Belly" motif that showed up quickly and consistently at 33GU218 back in 2003. Take a look at, which shows just a few of many examples, including a Paleolithic piece from Italy. This theme seems to have covered a lot of territory over the millennia, apparently into relatively recent time in North America. (I should post more on this theme, but have had little time for the website lately, being preoccupied with the earthwork and, of course, with everyday chaos...)

    Looking at the material Chris has posted on his own, I see a few flint projectile points, and am wondering if any of these have appeared in secure context with the birds. It's helpful, when possible, to associate the Figure Stones with temporally diagnostic artifact material. Identifying points is definitely not my forte, but after a quick search I'm thinking the ones Chris shows may be Middle to Late Archaic Period.

    Happy new year!

    Alan Day