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Articles on this Page
- 10/09/12--08:07: _A sleeping duck peb...
- 10/11/12--14:02: _Naturally perforate...
- 10/14/12--12:43: _Sleeping duck figur...
- 10/14/12--12:50: _Another sleeping du...
- 10/15/12--08:21: _"Strange shaped fli...
- 10/17/12--07:07: _A fine example of t...
- 10/19/12--10:50: _Prehistoric bling-b...
- 10/21/12--08:14: _Five flint artifact...
- 10/25/12--07:58: _Gem hunter's "Just ...
- 10/25/12--12:18: _A bird in the hand
- 11/01/12--09:05: _Flint effigy discov...
- 11/04/12--15:14: _Stone birds are wel...
- 11/07/12--07:18: _Flint handaxe may d...
- 11/07/12--23:00: _Mike Raver find at ...
- 11/09/12--06:51: _Similar rock forms ...
- 11/12/12--07:06: _West Virginia rock ...
- 11/15/12--15:38: _Artist, now amateur...
- 11/18/12--05:58: _Flint flake notched...
- 11/19/12--10:33: _Rhomboids, many of ...
- 11/25/12--14:26: _Aterian flint artif...
- 10/09/12--08:07: A sleeping duck pebble carving
- 10/14/12--12:43: Sleeping duck figure stone from "Old Route 66 Zoo" site in Missouri
- 10/14/12--12:50: Another sleeping duck figure stone from Maine archaeological sites
- 10/21/12--08:14: Five flint artifacts with distinct bird forms, Licking County, Ohio
- 10/25/12--12:18: A bird in the hand
- 11/01/12--09:05: Flint effigy discovered
Mr. Doyle is a naturalist, amateur archaeologist and master flintknapper from the Portland, Maine area. Bob has replicated the prehistoric creation of figure stones in both flint and coarse stone materials. He identified this pebble as a worked artifact, with very subtle removal of stone material to affect the final form of a sleeping duck, or waterbird. The overall shape is similar to a modern duck decoy. The head is at right, with a carved eye cavity. The duck's head is resting on its back, turned toward its rear, with its bill pointing left. The "sleeping duck" is a relatively common prehistoric portable rock art motif seen in Europe and America.
"hi ken and all...
here is another...made from quartz. a beautiful carving, delicately created. it is under 25 mm across.
i have recovered several more of these ducks. one that is almost life sized.
all the best...bob"
Nadia Clark of Prescott, Arizona, has also identified a sleeping duck figure stone from an art and tool context and has posted the image to her blog here.
Groen writes, "The image above is representing a piece of local Hesbaye flint, found at the nearly the highest part of the hill named "Montagne St. Pierre" part of the community of Visé in Belgium.( location Lat.. 50.78192708669826 x Long 5.675597190856934) Visé Lanaye in Google Maps
This area, rich in flint, is known for large tool production zones from the prehistory, for the production of tools from the locally mined flint, so in the area pieces of flint can be found easily. The local flint type is a rather coarse flint, probably mined at the location named Heyoule, this conclusion is based on the fact , the flint was found in the loess layer, so it has been transported at this field. Characteristics for this flint type are: very weak expressed bulbs ( because of the granulate structure) no rings of percussion and a dull appearance, if not patinated. During the production of tools, flint was mined from the cretaceous slopes of the Meuse river, for the production of tools. A raw flint core, after eventual decortification, was prepared with a platform, to strike regular blades or flakes from , to get blanks for the production of a large diversity of tools ( scrapers, knives, drills, etc.).
The flint piece, found in the field, has such a platform type, but the platform ( bottom side of the flint object in the picture below) was not used for the production of blades, maybe some flakes were taken of the nodule. The flint piece is remarkable and does not at all look like the usual, traditional ( often pyramidal) cores that were left over after blade- or flake debitage and sometimes still are found in the fields. Moreover, this not a debitage core, but looks rather like some sort of flint sculpture, maybe representing someone with a quiver with arrows...
This is reinforced by the fact some parts of the stone show a secondary retouch at some edges ( at top parts of the image), but this cannot be functionally. Step- fractions occur, maybe these are placed deliberately for sculpting the stone.
The assumed period for the production of tools from local flint in this part of Mt. St Pierre is the Middle to Late- Neolithic, appr. between 4000 and 2600 BC.
Length = 7,6 cm
Wide = 7,8 cm
Depth = 2,8 cm
A remarkable flint piece was found, with traces of limited debitage of flakes. Besides of this, the secondary retouch at two edges, would plea for the anthropogenic origin of the flint piece. This secondary retouch is not made for a functional purpose.The flint piece cannot be used as a tool ( like a tool core). It is quite well possible this is a piece of rock art (Figure stone, Pierre figures) or might have served as some sort of special object. The round form at the left could be the head of someone, and the triangle shape a quiver with arrows. This would make it a small statue of a torso."
-L. Jimmy Groen, Maastricht, NL
Now, one may use the Groen and Johnston interpretations to make another interpretation which is derived from a synthesis of the first two. Perhaps alternatively, the quiver interpreted by Groen may also be seen as a rabbit figure facing left on the back of the man. It may depict pre-hunt and post-hunt imagery, or two points in time, in one figure. (click photos to expand and compare).
My own far-flung speculation based on rock art motifs is that these iconic tools were used in mortuary practice to deflesh the dead and prepare them for "consumption" by scavenger birds, who were thought to guide or facilitate a "rebirth process," by releasing or bringing back to life the deceased's spirit, and seen as human-like faces and skull forms on certain bird figure stones.
Another less ostentatious Levallois style flake tool designed to be held in the fingers found nearby.
These artifacts appear to be made using Levallois preferential unidirectional-convergent core preparation.
At the Skull-a-day.com web site, Mike Youtz writes
"Found this interesting Rhyolite rock while in Utah back in May 2011. We were wrapping up a two-week geology field class when we decided to visit Topaz Mountain in western Utah to do a little gem hunting. Instead I found this! Way cooler than a topaz in my opinion. At first glance I thought it was the petrified skull of some critter but nope, it’s just a volcanic rock. Enjoy!"
Any suspected portable rock art find outside of an archaeological context has a diminished value to our understanding of what transpired in the past. The find by Mike here is a good example of an object which is at least a mimetolith which could have been recognized and appreciated in prehistory, and possibly an artifact if it was altered in any way by the human hand.
Finds like this can be used to identify possible archaeological sites of significance where tools and other art objects might be found. An object with strong visual properties such as this should trigger an evaluation by archaeological science of the object itself and the context from where it came.
In my experience however, professional archaeologists would immediately make the same assessment as the gem hunter here did, and dismiss this jawless stone skull form as wholly a product of chaos, having no potential significance to a greater understanding of our human past. Sadly, these are opportunities lost for development of archaeological knowledge. Anomalies such as this skull deserve careful evaluation, not immediate dismissal. Only when archaeologists develop more specialized knowledge than the general public do they have any credibility in matters of portable rock art.
Some reasons why this object is a candidate for archaeological investigation:
1) a rounded aspect to the top of the skull which may be shaped by controlled flake removal
2) a larger left eye socket is in accordance with the known "one eye open, one eye closed/or missing" portable rock art motif seen in the Middle Paleolithic and seen in other American portable rock art objects of unknown age
3) possible flake removal under the left eye to shape the cheek
4) a symmetrical aspect to the stone which is aesthetically appealing
|Flint effigy discovered|
A stone owl figure from the SDM Site, Solon Township, Kent County, Michigan (sound!)|
Courtesy Dennis J. Moore
This stone owl weighs 81 lbs. and is 18" tall. Peck parks represent spots on the owl's breast. It is similar to other stone owl forms identified in a context of portable rock art bird figures. Like my Buckeye Lake finds, the SDM Site which produced the owl is located in a geographic context of glacial kettle lakes.
Dennis' father, Edward R. Moore, is the first (1977) person to have described the "one eye open/one eye closed/missing" portable rock art motif in North America, based on his findings at the SDM site. He was unaware others such as Germany's Walther Matthes had described it in Europe in the late 1950's. Some of the SDM Site bird figures resemble those identified by Ursel Benekendorff of Germany.
Wray figurine depicting a Hopewell shaman in the act of transforming into a bear. Height of figurine, 16 centimeters. Recovered from one of the principal burial mounds at the Newark Earthworks (Dragoo and Wray 1964).
Mr. Gaietto writes on his web site:
"FIG. 3 Zooantropomorphic lithic sculpture found by ISAIE DHARVENT in 1902 or previously.
It is an old photography, in which cannot see the parts worked on the nodule of silex. Perhaps it is damaged from alluvial tumbling. The representation, in the interpretation of Dharvent, was the head of a monkey; my interpretation is different: the profile of the head has jaw and human forehead, while the mouth is of animal, therefore is an artistic hybrid.
Measures: probably 6 cm. height.
Origin: probably Center - North of France.
Cultural attribution: probably middle Acheulean.
In this photography the working traces are not looked at, do not look at the back; moreover the mouth is atypical, perhaps influenced from the shape of the nodule of silex, therefore, it is not possible to establish with certainty the authenticity."
A link to Gaietto's book (in Italian language) is in the right screen panel "Anthromoporphic Paleolithic Sculpture"
anthropomorphic form identified by Dennis Boggs, Irrigon, Oregon, and the subject of an earlier posting. It also compares favorably to a Gaietto described sculpture.
The rock on the left is a bobble-head which will rock as if laughing when set into motion by a slight push.
|West Virginia rock panel relief carving may depict an action scene of a human fleeing a lion biting the neck of a bear|
Paleolithic: An Aterian point is included in this collection, seen in the upper right. I believe this to be a hafted knife/scrapper rather than a projectile point. It is Ateria form with thick stem and rounded or abrupt tip which is worked around this way to be used for cutting or scrapping not as a tip for a projectile. This artifact dates to to approximately 30,000 years before present, at the time of the extinction of Neanderthal Man, but probably made by early Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
Neolithic: The group of 36 Sahara Neolithic relics is composed of diverse types of relics, which were discovered on ancient habitation sites deep in the western Sahara desert, mostly in the vicinity of northern Muaratania/Mali but also includes one two small basally notched Eiffel Tower points from Algeria. This group consist of several types and subtypes of projectile points from varying periods of the Neolithic era, including ovate, stemmed, triangular, and unifacial tool forms. In all there are 23 Neolithic era stone projectile points and tools, 10 hard-stone beads (mostly quartz disc beads), one hardstone celt, and a complete if a little rough cylindrical labret, this relic is thought to be used in body piercing or lips or ears.
Mesolithic: There is one unifacial blade seen at the bottom left from Morocco, dates to approximately 8,000 years before present.