Pendant - Day's Knob Site (33GU218)
that this limestone pendant incorporates three images in one. The
object in its entirety is in the form of a bird's head, the hole
being the eye. The beak is a winged bird, this being one of the
more detailed and naturalistic lithic figures in the
assemblage. The wing itself is in the form of a round-faced
bird. Altogether, a recursive expansion of the almost
ubiquitous bird motif at this site.
Below: Back of pendant.
Note the balance of the pendant when suspended.
Note the detailing of the wing feathers, and that the wing is
itself a bird image.
Drilled hole from back of pendant.
|The response to this particular artifact by the more orthodox
in the American archaeological/academic community gives some insight into the
culture and mindset of many professional archaeologists in this country.
When the object is shown by itself, it is usually greeted with
expressions of admiration and curiosity about its origin.
However, when it is presented as supporting evidence for the artificiality of simple
utilitarian objects in direct context - of the same material and groundstone
technology (like the scraper shown below) - it is, in most cases, dismissed as the product of natural
processes. When the viewer is then pressed for the sequence of events that produced what has every appearance of a bird-form pendant, the usual explanation given is that a crinoid
left a fossil imprint of just one of its many appendages, forming the hole in the
limestone; then the rock naturally eroded into a form giving the appearance of bifacial beveling and a multiple bird image, quite coincidentally leaving the hole in exactly the right
place for perfect balance when the object is suspended by a cord
- a story notable for the mental acrobatics if nothing else.
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