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Articles on this Page
- 01/30/17--06:50: _Mammoth, feine and ...
- 02/04/17--06:36: _Zoo Whooo! A paleol...
- 02/14/17--07:08: _Queensland portable...
- 02/19/17--07:07: _Paleolithic hand pu...
- 02/23/17--04:56: _A rhomboid plaquett...
- 03/02/17--18:32: _'World's oldest ima...
- 03/28/17--09:36: _'Animated handaxe' ...
- 04/12/17--07:50: _Lower Paleolithic h...
- 01/29/17--13:08: _A jasper human head...
- 04/27/17--19:24: _Central Georgia lan...
- 05/13/17--05:15: _A feline and human ...
- 05/31/17--06:28: _New Tennessee site ...
- 06/22/17--05:44: _Human and feline hy...
- 06/27/17--06:59: _Artists report port...
- 07/15/17--15:49: _A grinning left fac...
- 07/26/17--08:06: _'Flying foot' image...
- 08/16/17--08:39: _Big cat head sculpt...
- 08/23/17--18:05: _Sculpted bust in le...
- 08/31/17--21:00: _Human figure on a f...
- 09/21/17--18:36: _Western Montana por...
- 09/23/17--17:21: _Two British anthrop...
- 10/14/17--09:05: _A bust sculpture in...
- 10/26/17--08:09: _Standing human head...
- 11/07/17--17:41: _New Western Montana...
- 11/15/17--18:28: _A microlithic owl f...
- 02/04/17--06:36: Zoo Whooo! A paleolithic owl sculpture from Missouri
- 02/14/17--07:08: Queensland portable rock art typically found at 1 to 2 meters depth
- 02/23/17--04:56: A rhomboid plaquette from Arkfeld Site
- 05/13/17--05:15: A feline and human head combination figure stone from Missouri
- 05/31/17--06:28: New Tennessee site with portable rock art, anvils, flint and tools
- 06/27/17--06:59: Artists report portable rock art aplenty near Bucksport, Maine
- 09/21/17--18:36: Western Montana portable rock art patterns documented
- 10/14/17--09:05: A bust sculpture in flint from the Island of Oleron, France
Sharing the world with mammoths, cave lions and other beings: linking animal-human interactions and the Aurignacian “belief world”
This paper outlines a “symbolic ecology” for the Aurignacian of Central and Southwestern Germany. Drawing upon data derived from cultural anthropology, psychology and zoobiology, we compare the sociocultural modalities of “managing” the recurrent theme of the mammoth and the cave lion with the encounter and interaction conditions underlying these two specific animal-human relations in the glacial landscapes of the European Early Upper Palaeolithic. We propose that being-in-the-world as highly mobile hunter-gatherers living in open and densely populated “animal-landscapes” strongly promotes non-Cartesian understandings of the animal-human interface, ultimately favouring notions of co-habitation, proximity and social intimacy. By reviewing key aspects of mammoth and cave lion ethology and socioecology, we point out the natural significance and relevance of these animals for human forager groups operating in the same environments. Moreover, we argue that this “natural significance” is directly reflected in the archaeological signature of the Central and Southwestern German Aurignacian that assigns these creatures a pre-eminent place in its material culture repertoire – for instance in craftsmanship, subsistence and settlement organisation and thus in areas deeply anchored in every-day practice. Although there is a clear convergence between the natural prominence of these animals and their sociocultural salience, different eco-behavioural profiles of mammoth and cave lion seem to have motivated varying modalities to engage with them materially. This, in turn, suggests different trajectories of constructing the animal-human interface and therefore a different “status” of both animals in the wider “Glaubenswelt” (belief world) of Aurignacian regional communities. The deep entrenchment of both animals in the sociocultural world as well as the rather unique interaction conditions they offer to human co-dwellers point to the social importance of mammoths and cave lions and thus to animistic and essentially relational ontologies. This, finally, demonstrates the blurring of the Cartesian boundary between animal and human domains and intro-duces the possibility of pondering aspects of “animal-personhood” in this part of the Aurignacian world. We conclude our survey by discussing some critical implications that arise when reading the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition from the perspective of animal-human interactions and the entanglement of ontologies and material signatures.
|'Owl portable rock art sculpture'|
Rebecca and John typically find this kind portable rock art material in the course of their excavation work at depths between 1 and 2 meters.
Adam Arkfeld has identified a recurring pattern of these diamond-shaped stones which have been sculpted using a "bend-break" or "buffer technique" to make the relatively straight sides. They have been found at several portable rock art sites and likely had some kind of symbolic significance to their Stone Age makers.
A drawing of the engraved stone highlights the individual pixels that make up a mammoth, or auroch, facing right (R Bourrillon)
'World's oldest images made from pixels' discovered in prehistoric French camp
by Ian Johnston, Science reporter, The Independent.
What could be the oldest images in the world have been discovered in France.
And the engravings of mammoths and wild cows known as aurochs were made from individual pixels – essentially the same technique used to produce images on computers and televisions.
The pictures are also being compared to the pointillism technique supposedly pioneered in the 1880s by artists like Vincent van Gogh and Georges Seurat.
They were radiocarbon dated to 38,000 years old, which could mean they are the oldest pictures ever created.
A painted hand silhouette found in Spain could be about 5,000 years older but its dating has been contested. An ivory sculpture of a female figure from about the same period as the French engravings was also found in southern Germany.
Professor Randall White, a New York University anthropologist, told The Independent the images were certainly “among the very earliest images of things we can actually recognise in the entire archaeological record”.
“It’s not so much the final effect that we found interesting, it’s the conception of it – the use of individual points to form the body or the outline of a figure,” he said.
“If you look carefully at the aurochs, there’s really a significant control of the line.
“And this is very early when people are really just beginning to grapple with the production of images."
“They have mastered some of the fundamental aspects of line and shape, but there’s clearly a long way to go in terms of precise reproductions.”
It is unclear why prehistoric artists decided to use a pointillist or pixel-based technique.
“It’s almost digital in its nature … why this fixation on dots, I’ll admit it’s a puzzle,” Professor White said.
“It’s not exactly pointillism but the principle is there, the construction of a form out of pixels.
“We’re quite familiar with the techniques of these modern artists. But now we can confirm this form of image-making was already being practiced by Europe’s earliest human culture, the Aurignacian.”
He said they had been excavating the site for 18 months before they found the images.
“The engraving was face down and we knew within these sites such things are possible, so we were taking great care,” Professor White said.
“After a year and a half of excavating, we finally extracted the object … it is one of the great moments of my career, that’s for sure.”
The discovery was reported in the journal Quarternary International.
North America has a similar sculptural tradition of making a combination of mammoth and bison as is also observed in several well known early European art pieces.
(click photos to expand and toggle)
As suggested by the Makapansgat, S.A., 'pebble of many faces' which was likely collected by Australopithecus africanus 3 million years ago, these cognitive capabilities have probably been present since the emergence of the genus Homo around 2 million years ago.
Anthropomorphic stone figures with mouths agape have been variously interpreted as yelling, laughing, crying, singing, etc.
I present a limestone lamp of 15/12 cm.
The black burned part is 8.5 / 7 cm.
The second part is a geode. The hole is natural.on a human head profile.
The cavity of the mouth has been enlarged by the man. The opening is 4.5cm.
The piece is 15/11 cm
These 2 stones come from the same site (lower paleo) on the island of oleron
|'Sloth slayer' from central Georgia|
My name is Edgar and I am seeking your help on some finds that I dug up while starting a garden.
I believe I may have stumbled on some ancient American Indian artifacts. I am including a link with the pictures to this email. Please email me back if you think there is a chance that I'm correct on what these artifacts are. Or, if you have another idea of what this could be, please let me know that as well. They may just be rocks or they may be something extraordinary. I have zero expertise in this area; I am grateful if you are able to help."
These kinds of artifacts detected by laypersons show that a formal education in Archaeology precludes one's ability to detect materials not already assumed to be present by prior knowledge. Mr. Lopez has been told by many these are 'just rocks' but we can indeed know better.
Arkfeld notes the presence of a worked 'eye' shape to the left of the head and the Pharohnic Egypt use of the 'all seeing eye of Horus' and human and feline hybrid dieties like Sekhmet.
"hey, saw your blog and some of the photos of portable rock art and wanted to share some really good ones that we have found over the years here in Maine . One here is just like the little finch (i call it) that you have a photo of. I have one here too that (i think) is of the Great Auk, a flightless seabird that was killed off by early Europeans. and we have many (dozens and dozens) of profiles and faces,,,, we are artists ourselves, so we have become privy to the wonderful stone art in the artifacts we find everywhere here ! ~ sam minot, Bucksport, Me."
A Clactonian /Acheulean discoidal pebble scraper. Produced on a cortex backed section of a large river pebble. Two sections on the dorsal face have been flaked towards a distal point. Ventral face with a clear bulb of percussion and one third of the circumference displays some wonderful, shallow flaking. Silver and orange ancient patina on exposed flint. Size 7cm x 7cm. Acquired by Ken Johnston from an old collection.
As I mentioned before, I have found many 100's of stones that are peculiar, and look like they represent many different animals. I was not aware of this sort of rock art until I began searching for stones similar to what I have found on the internet. The first style I recognized was the sleeping bird stones, then the non-sleeping birds.
After that I began noticing that many of the stones seemed to represent elephants.
After viewing all of the stones you have on your site I am fairly certain that I have found a large cache of these stones. Many stones are naturally shaped, but they are found with many other stones that show signs of being worked by someone, so I believe they still represent something.
Having seen good photographs of Wade's finds, I agree that he has found a concentration of 'portable rock art' similar to that described by many other careful observers. His description of the 'sleeping bird' motif is an indicator he has detected a Paleolithic rock art site. I will be featuring some of Wade's artifacts in the coming weeks.
Based on its find context and other examples for reference it is my contention that most if not all of the facial elements (eyes, nose, mouth, teeth) on the pebble featured here are the result of human marking rock art behaviors which have not been described by North American archaeologists.
A competent and thorough petrological examination of examples like this can confirm human workmanship and so easily establish what must become a major new line of rock art inquiry for archaeological science.
Hello from the island of Oleron. Bust of a man of 6/4 cm in flint found on the island. His headdress and beard are well seen in the imagery of prehistoric man.
Based on other examples on this blog human head renderings which are often quite lite on details sometimes have what appear to manufactured 'nostrils' of the nose as seen in this example recovered by Adam Arkfeld at his site. They seem to be an important detail which I have proposed may be adding a 'symbolic breath of life' and animation to the stone.
I contend this is the face of a bird at the eye and beak of the owl. It has a fully expressed body of a bird in profile. This is a motif developed in other examples on this blog.