Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Portable Rock Art and Figure Stones - The secret of the worlds oldest prehistoric artworks

 Portable Rock Art and Figure Stones - The secret of the worlds oldest prehistoric artworks.

This article will help you to understand figure stones, recognize them and even find your own ancient works of art, here I reveal the secrets. When you find a good quality figure stone, and I have every confidence that you can, you will know and understand how wrong many common theories of the distant past are, the truth will set you free.

 "Symbolism is the language of the Mysteries; in fact it is the language not only of mysticism and philosophy but of all Nature, for every law and power active in universal procedure is manifested to the limited sense perceptions of man through the medium of symbol.... By symbols men have ever sought to communicate to each other those thoughts which transcend the limitations of language. Rejecting man-conceived dialects as inadequate and unworthy to perpetuate divine ideas, the Mysteries thus chose symbolism as a far more ingenious and ideal method of preserving their transcendental knowledge. In a single figure a symbol may both reveal and conceal, for to the wise the subject of the symbol is obvious, while to the ignorant the figure remains inscrutable. Hence, he who seeks to unveil the secret doctrine of antiquity must search for that doctrine not upon the open pages of books which might fall into the hands of the unworthy but in the place where it was originally concealed."
The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly Palmer Hall.

Figure stones, stones which have been modified to show figurative descriptions, are often dismissed as being a product of fanciful interpretation and imagination. Many factors suggest otherwise.

 To the uneducated the ancient Chinese characters above appear as grouped random squiggles and brush strokes of ink.  

Are you seeing things?, Understanding figure stones, how do figure stones work?
First, an arbitrary assertion that an image perceived in a find is purely a product of imagination is not evidence-based, also if someone is unable to see something, perhaps their mind is unable to process the information given. An example of this could be the 'magic eye' pictures that were popular in the 90's.

To appreciate art of any kind requires an, often complex, knowledge of the period and capabilities of the culture that produced it.  An uneducated man, may, for example, naively interpret much of the output of the Cubist movement as the product of mere childish attempts at representation through unskilled use of color mediums.  To appreciate the full meaning latent in these works, however, requires an education including an understanding of the intellectual development of the artists participating in this school as well as the materials they had available and what could be achieved with them.

In the same way, to appreciate the art in many figure stones we first must learn how to view them. Common topology of figures and certain tricks of the mind are often apparent. Viewing a potential eye feature in a find as an 'eye' allows the mind to unlock the figure in some cases, and the rest of the figure forms around it, other subtle markings in the find then form other features such as mouths and ears (see fig 2). I call such features 'triggers'. You're not imagining these features, they are there, but somehow the mind is able to make sense of otherwise ambiguous markings and flake removals. No doubt our ancient predecessors had this cognitive ability too, it would aid in recognizing potential threats from partially obscured predatory creatures. Having a visual memory of finer cleaner examples aids in recognizing the subtle and less obvious.

In stone above  a face can be seen. Science is predictive, this is a predictable face description to find.

Figure stones can have multiple eye shapes, and combined figurative expressions of differing head, front half, part- or full-bodied profile shapes that make ambiguous optical illusions.  So many they can hold many figures seemingly for efficiency, and to carry as many figurative descriptions as necessary for practicality, one stone ten descriptions is more practical than carrying ten stones for ten animal descriptions.

(fig 2)An example of a modern ambiguous optical illusion. Can you see the seal and the donkey head?

Figure stones frequently hold multiple images of different creatures that can be seen when holding the stones in different orientations: sometimes of just the head, sometimes the front half of a creature, sometimes part- or full-body profiles.  As above, a key to these multiple interpretations can often be found in the different workings that form eye-depictions.  Identifying the different eyes leads to recognition of each complete figure.  These multi-image figure stones would save the user from having to carry so many different stones in order to convey the multitude of different images they would need, on say, a hunt. Figure stones often also employ ambiguous optical illusions.

Above: An image of a bird on a nest facing left? or the image of a baby crocodile head emerging form the water facing right? 

In the same way that a strong familiarity with letters of an alphabet and the words of a language makes it a 'no-brainer' that there is writing on a piece of paper, familiarity with the figures, conventions and triggers ubiquitous in figure stones can be a great aid in identifying genuine figure stones.

When you have insight into the common conventions and topology, figure stones become easier to recognize and read. Not all figuration has to be highly detailed and accurate, shapes can be ambiguous and have few details, or triggers but still satisfy recognition. An example of how this works is demonstrated in the representation of a mud splattered parking sign below.

If you were looking to park a car, you could easily recognize the sign above, even though much of the detail has been obscured.

In this way symbols can be simple flint nodules and have few modifications to practically convey various figures, a simple 'P' shape can convey numerous figurative expressions, figuration being condensed. However the broken nodule here, below, has some tiny cortex carving, some minimal embellishment, having many figurative abilities by simply turning it around, and even animating it in the hand for clarity of meaning. Fortunately not all figure stones are so subtle, I have built on the common depictions, topology and conventions from some highly detailed examples.

Suggested figurative possibilities for the above modified partial nodule are pointing hand, small long tailed bird, plesiosaurs half, elephant head, flying long necked water bird, strutting gorilla half,  bear head, bovine front half, and likely much more.

If your new to figure stones and you've got this far into this article you may find the above very hard to accept, this is probably because you have some preconceived ideas about the past, man and dinosaurs never having met for example, or that you find the likenesses very subtle compared to the figuration I have suggested. Now if you were more familiar with figure stone common depictions and convention you would no doubt be much more accepting of the above, before you could read, letters were no more than odd shapes on a piece of paper. 

 'Another problem is raised by the so-called 'figure stones', which are nodules with very little trimming or adaptation, but with fanciful resemblance to various animals, birds, reptiles, and even human beings. The flake which generally forms the 'eye' is often minute and in the right place, but the identification of the figure is largely a matter of conjecture, though some examples are almost convincing. Weather figure stones are due to man or to nature, it may be urged that the earliest sculptures known are in the round (as opposed to engraving or low relief), and it is not unreasonable to suppose that man's first attempts at art consisted in giving the finishing touches to a nodule in order to create or improve a likeness to some real or imaginary animal. One of the earliest instincts of children is to mold figures in clay, and this in itself might be used as an argument for the great antiquity of sculptures in the round' Reginald Smith, 1932, British Museum from 1927-1938.

It's all in the details.
Interpretation of the creatures displayed in figure stones is subjective conjecture.  Iteration and highly detailed specimens gives us the best hope of understanding them and identifying any species, topology and convention pay a big part here also.  The design complexity and skill involved does not reflect an expected level of cognition for ancient man, in many pieces. Images can be anamorphic, contain animations and optical illusions, the artists also used light and shadow as paint, with carefully considered chips, or pecks.

Topology and Repeating Conventions.
The only 'naturally worked' shape topology to be found in unmodified flints is the rounded oval shapes of pebbles. Flint tools and figure stones show their own man made topology, this topology is proof of design, modification, selection and intent. 

1. Throughout art history a repeating topology of technique is shown, that of side profiles of the subjects to be depicted, in most cases this is exactly what figure stones show, side on profiles, and not just one side on profile in each example, but many. Figurative descriptions are most often shown in head profile and front half profile.

2. Figure stones often have numerous eye shapes, these are produced by a sequence of agency effects, multiple actions in a small area to produce an eye shape, and almost always as part of a more detailed figurative description. Naturally occurring eye shapes are a rare phenomenon in stones, let alone the fact that they are often accompanied by detailed ear shapes, nose shapes mouth shapes and repeating subject profiles in genuine figure stones. Eye shapes are not always flaked, in many finds a tar like pigment and ochre are used rather like paint, these are both known to have been used ubiquitously by prehistoric peoples.

3. Many figure stones stand upright, and when in an upright position the figurative descriptions are also upright, this is clearly by design. Many figure stones that don't stand have upright descriptions when the stones longest dimension is vertical. Rotating the stone around  its longest dimension in its vertical position often displays a series of upright figurative descriptions.

4. Many figure stones show numerous creature descriptions, each having numerous facial or bodily feature representations. These can often be recognized as being of known creatures, probability validates authenticity. Can you find a stone showing numerous random vehicle descriptions? No?, unbelievers should look for vehicle shapes in stones, then look for known figures.

5. The same repeating subjects and popular motifs can be found across numerous individual samples, we have common theme's and this again is statistically unlikely to have anything to do with random chance. 

6. Repeating combinations can be found, for example the elephant head figure can easily be combined with the swan figure, this blog has many examples of a repeating pattern of combined creature motifs across numerous samples. This is another set of unlikely probabilities that have an observable topology.

7. Over all basic outline and shape topologies are present, just some very close shape matches can be seen.  These can also contain sub sets of topologies, for example the thumb nail shape and elephant eye shape being present and correctly aligned and located.

8. Creature figures are most often framed by the outside edge of the stone, this is very significant in knowing they are deliberate depictions, the figures are not appearing out of a mess and jumble of features, like the faces in random squiggly patterns do.

9. The aforementioned topologies and conventions can be found in recognized stone tools.

10. Individual figures can be tested for in large assemblages of shapes of stones, for example if you collected large numbers of roughly 'P' shaped stones, you could check for eye shapes in the correct locations for that of an elephants head.

The chart above shows many of the common glyphs to be found in stone tools and worked stones.  This can be used to recognize Eoglyphs all over the world.

 

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Native American Indian Thunderbird Effigy Flint Blade

 This is quite a stunning piece of portable rock art and looks to be an authentic Native American Indian piece, and a good size too, being over 8 inches. They were copied during the 60's and 70's and perhaps as far back as the 1880's some people claim there is no such thing, but patinas cannot be faked, the patina looks authentic here and I am obviously unwilling to chip the item to be certain. Often called Thunder bird effigies this artifact is also known as a ceremonial eagle effigy. It looks to be made from Burlington Chert which is not unusual for native American Indian art and artifacts. More Modern examples can be seen here: 

 Portable Rock Art and Figure Stones vs Native American Indians

 Thunderbird or Eagle??
Genuine article or old reproduction?


Friday, 28 August 2020

Figure Stones - The Hidden Art of Paleolithic Stone Tools - Hands

Ive mentioned and demonstrated numerous times hand symbology in my stone tool and prehistoric art finds. However it is not just my finds that show this symbology, it can be found in paleolithic tools and hand axes found all over the world.  What I have demonstrated is genuine and some of the worlds oldest art, so don't be fooled by the naysayers that tell you your being fooled by your imagination because my work and research produces genuine results and observations thereof that can be independently repeated and verified.

So how is my work and research testable from a scientific point of view? Well it really is as simple as topology and convention. I have found topology not only in symbology, but materials, pigments and symbol combination. I have detailed and demonstrated these symbols and conventions not only in 'standard' stone tools, but also in finds that show no cutting or piercing properties, so that others can realize the truth for themselves. My research on pigments is also scientifically testable and results repeatable as the prehistoric people on my find site seemed to stick to the recipe they used.

My find site is very close to one of the most famous paleolithic archeological sites.


This small scraper shows hand symbology, which is common in flint tool finds, in this example it shows the whole hand holding a rock.
This find was recovered from a chalk cliff, notice the hand shape in relief at the bottom of the stone, thumb finger and finger nail. This item has no apparent standard tooling use.
The following pictures are all flint tools that are described as being from the paleolithic period, most were found in various places in Africa, the exact symbology shown has also been found in my own collection from here in the UK, but can also be found in stone tool finds from all over the world. Look carefully for hand shapes, partial hand shapes and thumb shapes, including nails.
 
Index finger on the right, thumb upper left, nails downwards.

                             Index finger on the right, thumb upper left, nails downwards.
 
Thumb upper left, nails downwards, possible damage on the right? leaving the index finger obscured.

Index finger on the right, thumb upper/middle left, nails upwards, as though holding the darker cortex patch upper center.



These three hand axes are all UK finds suspected paleolithic, probable thumb and nail symbology and possible cloaked figure symbology. Source: http://www.stoneagetools.co.uk/stone-age-tools-galleries.htm

These three are all from my find site here in the south of England, all show combination cloaked figure and clawed finger symbology.
The following hand axes/stone tools all show thumb and nail or claw symbology, diagnostic shaping, on some of them it is confined to the tip or is very subtle.













Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Figure Stones - Cloak and Dagger - Prehistoric Art

 Cloaked figures and thumb/finger shapes are probably the most common artistic impressions to be found in the world of figure stones and portable rock art. Both of these motifs also bleed into flint tool assemblages found world wide, but the archeologists involved are often completely ignorant of the artistic images concealed in the flint tool finds, and do not realize that the flint tools also contain prehistoric art.

Take these relatively recent finds from India that apparently challenge the theory of evolution, looking closely through the finds I notice a few that I would classify as the cloaked figure and one that matches closely with the Thumb motif. I have used scientific method to prove that what I describe as the cloaked figure motif goes beyond just a tooling shape, but also appears in finds with no apparent cutting proposes. This means that the shape has a use that is not as a standard tool, logically a figurative explanation is apparent when one studies the details of finer examples.

Read more about the Indian finds here: Indian Stone Tools Unearthed



 The above animation gives a good impression of the cloaked figure motif, although its design is fairly simple, some face like details are visible.


 The Animation below also contains a good figure impression likeness, but look for the finger and nail motif.

 I suggest you zoom in and study the images below close up to see the finer details, the 'nail tip' also has traces of pigment.

 This next find not only triggers the cloaked figure but also again triggers the digit with nail,  I suggest thumb in this case.



The second in the sequence matches a thump of finger motif very closely, face details are also present in a few here but I suggest you look very closely at the last one. You may also notice the impression of an arm, hand, and cloaked sleeve in the last 3 images.





Sunday, 9 August 2020

Figure Stones - Prehistoric Art of the Paleolithic

Here are a selection of recent prehistoric art finds, all are worked flint stones, and one has a very plausible tool usage, although not a tool that I know to have been recognized in other stone age tool assemblages. I label these finds as paleolithic as they show figurative depictions of creatures that were only have believed to have lived locally in the paleolithic age or older.

 Not an unusual face depiction to find in figure stones or portable rock art, however, this one has a clever anamorphic illusion effect, very rarely demonstrated in collections outside my own, if ever. Despite the right facing profile, a possible blue tit like bird depiction can be seen inset, the reason I suggest blue tit is that it would match other more convincing depictions of the same subject I have in other finds.


 The video demonstrates the anamorphic illusion, the still above demonstrates the intricate detail put in to sculpting the eye shape.

The next two finds represent some of the easiest portable rock art to find and recognize, the thumb motif, just like flint arrow heads, these have a very distinctive shape and usage. If you want to prove your figure stone collection has validity, find these among your assemblage, they can be found almost globally, and this icon was used over vast time periods.



 This next find I suggest has a physical tooling usage, but also holds some common symbolic convention and iconography. As a tool it could be very effective at levering bark from a tree. Symbolically elephant head, with pigment eye feature, gorilla strut (head and arm)  and phallus, but from an angle not shown. Look out for the sauropod or plesiosaurs like depiction which is also present in the second photo.








Monday, 16 December 2019

Mystery of the Stone Thumbs - Figure Stones

Thumb and finger shaped stones are found all over the world, a few of them have even been labeled as fossils by their finders, which in the case of flint finds would shed doubt on mainstream geology theory and evolutionary theory timelines, if they were indeed fossils. Even one of my own finds appears to be an only lightly modified flint nodule resembling a thumb shape, but I don't actually believe it to be a fossilized thumb, just a case of very fine cortex carving, as seen often in my flint finds. I made this video to demonstrate the quintessential figure stone thumb motif, showing some of my best thumb shapes, some very subtle ones, an unquestionable flint tool bearing the same symbology at its tip, and even one or two that appear almost photo realistic. By in large these thumb shapes do not appear to be modeled on the thumbs of homo sapiens, but perhaps close cousins?

The video quality is not the best, however it still demonstrates the very distinctive thumb shape, how it was incorporated into flint blade tools, and finds that show no piecing or cutting properties. Most were found on my site here in the UK, many incorporate blades.

Figure stone, portable rock art

Figure stone, portable rock art

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Figure Stones - Our Forum

About the Forum.
Firstly I would like to thank all who have joined in with our forum Portable Rock Art and Figure Stones  it has been a positive experience that is helpful and informative to all who are interested in studying this most ancient art form, thank you to all for your posts and comments, but more importantly your additions to the scientific study. Science is what we can observe and test and demonstrate, and this is exactly what many of your finds reflect. Special thanks go to Rocky, Baggy and Greglafla for welcoming members, positive commentary and general helpfulness.

A selection of Figure Stones posted on the Forum.
I have selected a few of my favorite stone find submissions and the names of the respective researchers with some additional commentary to post here. (For those who have not joined our forum). 

Rocklith76 found this in Georgia USA, this bird effigy is probably best described as a piece of portable rock art describing a thunder bird. This could easily be ascribed to known Native American Indian cultures, however other symbology appears present making this poly iconic (ape like head profiles), so i would suggest the term 'figure stone', that being the case.
figure stones
Thunder Bird Effigy Stone.

Another find from Rocklith76 in Georgia, this one i find to be highly poly iconic showing common glyph content and common convention. I find this one amazing for skill in fore-fort of design, combining many figures in a neat package, the artist a true genius. Pigment created eye shapes also appear present. Suggested figuration for this figure stone includes, duck, mammoth half, cloaked figure, ape face, fish half,  pointing finger, those and more can be seen in the other pictures on the forum.
Bird effigy Figure Stone

Another great find from Georgia, this time by Robert Firesheets. I suggest the main subject here as the front half of a horse grazing, head turned backwards, an incised line to detail the hoof. Other symbology is likely present as well, face profiles can be seen along the left edge.
Portable rock art

Anil from England has also been responsible for some very impressive finds, this next one is also proof of the validity of our study, as common convention and figuration are present.  Very detailed bear half figuration can be seen facing right, and along the right, facing left, a detailed mammoth half depiction is also present, aligned upright with the bear. More subtle imagery can also be seen, and some potentiality unknown creature depictions.
This find also from Anil shows some well known faces and convention, which crop up often in poly iconic figure stones. This stone also features heavy pigment use, detailed eye shapes and staggering complexity. Can you find what looks like the head description of a dinosaur? Picture comparison and highlighting thanks to Rocky over at  The Rock Art Museum


This one is a Tim Banninger find from Kansas. This find has been heavily flaked and shows numerous face descriptions.
This one from Judy Eagerton in the United States also shows some common figuration and convention. This one may take a little time to appreciate the Gorilla image, although the 'Gorilla strut' is a well documented glyph in European finds, this one is more like a sculpture than the more common flat glyph profile style. A subtle elephant half and bear half can also be seen, and a face, upper central left. Can you find what looks to be a top half of a T-rex depiction in this find?