Monday, 20 February 2017

Portable Rock Art - Flogging A Dead Horse?

Today's Eolith's post on Portable Rock Art is about horse head motifs, these all come from my usual find site. I have shared quite a few figurative examples of worked stones showing suspected horse artworks.

 A very good horse head likeness can be seen in this flint tool, this artifact contains many other motifs, just like almost all the finds displayed on this blog.

In this old post, the horse head motif almost instantly turns into an impression that looks very much like the head of a Tyrannosaurs Rex (The theory of revolution) and there are more extinct creature impressions to be seen in the stone as well (UK Tortoise - extinct for roughly 35 million years)

One of the key features of the horse head motif found in my figure stones, is the 'mane' feature, many of them have it. Perhaps this is one of the key visual indicators, or 'triggers' used to produce the impression for these prehistoric peoples, or just to make a distinction between another creature with a similar head shape?

The uncluttered flint sculpture below shows the second 'eye' feature just above and to the left of the other one and, also a curved 'muzzle' and 'mouth' impression (mouth along bottom edge), this leaves us with four possible combinations, or ways to view the suspected creature impressions. Pick an 'eye' and pick a 'muzzle' and see for yourselves. 

This piece from the previous post is not quite right either, mane, muzzle, ear and profile shape features are all good, but when it comes to choosing a feature for the 'eye' nothing seems to quite fit properly, and we end up with either a dinosaur head impression, or art intending to show the head of an eagle, or something like it.

The worked flint piece below, shows the double sided impression of a seated horse.

 The next two pictures are of the same find, I believe the item was hafted using the hole shown in the second picture. Although that would produce something similar to an axe, I'm not of the opinion that it would be very useful for chopping trees, and was more likely a weapon, the blade area is on the lower area of the 'mane'. The photo below is lacking many details, only one of which is the ocher etched 'eye'.

Below are some more worked flint finds from my site, many do seem to roughly translate as to being the horse head motif, although they could just as easily be descriptions of other creatures, some look more like dinosaur impressions or possibly other creature motifs.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Figure Stones - Simple Genus

The last post here on Eoliths was a highly complex piece of stone art, showing numerous face profiles, at least 5 bears, many hominids, many complete apes, more than one half canine, even half a tortoise and the good old elephant front leg glyph can be seen, I will compile a list at some point and share via my Google Plus.

This post is about the simple figure stone's or portable rock art finds, and how the proto language evolved into a much simpler form, well at least there is evidence that something in the prehistoric 'evolved', even if it was only communication.

 The next five pictures below are of the same flint find from my usual hunting grounds, there is just enough detail in the piece to make up nearly all of the most common glyphs, and even if details were missing, the outline may suffice to be of use to someone who was well aware of the communication technique.

Above: A simple bear head glyph facing right.

 Above: Another bear glyph right, and a horse head glyph facing left, note the white flint representing the mane and darkened muzzle area. 

 Above: The good old elephant and front leg motif, note how turning the stone 1/4 counter clockwise a simplified thumb motif can be seen pointing right.

Above: An ape face motif to the left, and a bird motif to the right. You may also notice a face likeness in the center of the stone.

 The YouTube video below shows a collection of some of those Indian Effigy Stones, these could all have been used in a very similar way, very briefly at 4:37 you will see the stone has a chip for a 'thumb nail' and is very thumb shaped. I am not of the opinion that Indians from there supposed occupational time line made these items, although that does not mean that Indians of a much earlier date didn't. If you are unaware of my views on the thumb motif refer to this post (Portable Rock Art - Rule of Thumb) I have added a picture or two since originally posting.

The Video above is provided by William Shira.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Portable Rock Art - Complex Cognition

By now many readers of Eoliths blog and collectors alike have managed to pick up the gist of this art form, and are able to read a good amount of the portable rock art common lexicon, so it's about time I introduced some of the more complex pieces I have been holding back. These have many glyphs view-able from many angles, and are most often hominid based, showing an array of head profiles of ape like's and sometimes even sapiens sapiens face descriptions, or very close cousins. 

One thing I have noted is that these more complex figure stones quite often have a tesseract (an inverse tetrahedron) as shown in these two posts (Two Faced Figure Stone) and (Portable Rock Art - Elephant and Hominin). This piece, besides the many face profiles, has quite a few animal front half descriptions, this convention is becoming well know thanks to my input, and many of you have your own pieces.

To get the most of this piece (well, what is being displayed) will take some effort, this time I will save on my writing and allow readers to decode the stone themselves. A few clues: three different mammal front half's motifs can be found, some hominid face profiles are stacked one upon another, at least seven can be seen, and if you spot the 'gnome' your probably a first class reader. You will also likely see things that I have not yet.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Portable Rock Art - Open Mouthed Monkey

Another one of my finds from the secret location here in Southern England. Only three things can easily be interpreted in this stone, the most interesting of which is the open mouthed chimp like depiction. This could also be interpreted in the previous post and in the cretaceous portable rock art find. Tiny micro fractures were used in the cortex of the flint in order to chip away and create the eye features.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Two Faced - Figure Stone

This figure stone from my find site has flake removal scars in many places, the most interesting of which is the inverse tetrahedron that makes up the eye feature, also shown in the previous post. Some kind of pigment was also used to enhance the eye. 

In the animation below an ape like face (probably sub-human) transforms into an almost lioness facial likeness. Another one eyed transforming face can be seen in this other piece of portable rock art, Face to Face.

Figere Stone

Another face can be seen leftwards in the picture below.

From another angle a more gorilla like head profile can be seen along the left edge.

An elephant head profile can be seen with trunk curled under, top left in the picture below. The curled trunk makes up the brow ridge.
portable rock art

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Portable Rock Art - Elephant and Hominin

This worked flint stone from my site has two of the most common motifs found in portable rock art, both in an upright position and both on the same side of the stone. The elephant and front leg glyph can be seen facing right and the hominin head profile motif can be seen near the left edge, center. A very similar looking hominin shape can be seen in this post on Eoliths of a flint tool three times ----> Standing Flint Tool Hominid Face
portable rock art

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Flint Tool - Portable Rock Art shows Apes

This flint tool from my finds site has some ape like faces, two of the faces can be seen at each end of the tool, front on, but only showing one side, something noted on a few finds on this blog. The face on the larger edge looks gorilla like and on the smaller edge sub human. The outside larger edge also shows a face profile on both sides of the blade tool. Many retouch flake removal scars can be seen on this piece of portable rock art, the black material is likely tar or resin.
flint tool portable rock art

flint tool portable rock art

flint tool portable rock art

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Wolf and Horse Portable Rock Art and Flint Tool

Another flint tool from my find site that shows the horse head glyph and possibly a double sided depiction of the Egyptian Jackal or African Wolf, I also notice the elephant and front leg motif is incorporated into the horse head, another convention noted in previous finds of mine. The blade or cutting surface of this flint tool is along the bottom of the figurative neck area.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

School Boy Error....

Apologies to all readers of my blog, I have been at fault when it comes to the use of the word 'Hominid'. Basically I took the word to mean all of the so called human relatives. Luckily Jul over at the Rock Art Museum put up a post to correct me in such matters:
Definition of Hominoids, Hominids, Hominins and Humanoids
Hominoids – All apes, Gibbons, gorillas, chimps, orangs and humans
Hominids – All modern and extinct great apes. Gorillas, chimps, orangs and humans, and their immediate ancestors. Not gibbons
Hominins – Any species of early human that is more closely related to humans than chimpanzees, including modern humans themselves
Humanoids – Having an appearance or character resembling that of a human

Rule of Thumb - Portable Rock Art Motif

Something I have been aware of for a few years is the Thumb motif found on my site and in other hand axes and blade tools. I have already shown a number of hand shapes in my poly iconic materials and perhaps there is a similar meaning to these icons. I have long suggested that these motifs are actually visual language devices rather than art per se. I have found many suspected thumb shapes from my find site and have seen others, both recognized and unrecognized both in flint tool form or just as worked stones. So what is the meaning of this motif? Many portable rock art finds contain images of hominins and apes, usually in head profile form, and there is a great variety of both, all of these motifs can be replaced by the thumb motif. So instead of carving various ape and hominin head profiles, prehistoric men could of carved a thumb shape to indicate all, allow me to explain a little further. One of the unique features of hominins is opposable thumbs, so this motif would cover all hominins. On a double sided piece direction of travel could be easily indicated, furthermore when the piece is turned upside down this could indicate all apes and monkeys, as the thumb would be in the position it is on monkeys hands rather than the natural position it is in on the hands of humans and hominins.
This is a Flint hand Axe found in Kent Uk, a thumb shape and nail can be seen. Source: 

Below: A selection of 3 thumb shapes found from my find site, The top one is also a blade tool.

Below another one of my UK thumb finds.

The Two Flint tool finds below were both found in North America and Both show the Thumb Motif.
Below: The bottom picture also shows the Elephant and front leg motif.