The Gault Site in Texas

The significance of the Gault site lies to a great extent in its convincing evidence, contrary to conventional wisdom, that large populations of the "Clovis" time frame already inhabited sites of considerable geographical extent and duration, suggesting the possibility of a "pre-Clovis" presence.  In the context of the large quantity and extent of artifact material at 33GU218 and other North American sites, it is interesting to note the similarity in morphology of much of Gault's artifact material to that of artifacts at this site, notably in its resemblance to the rounded or flattened (quasi-anthropomorphic) bird face images - mouth, eye, and general form of the figure being the salient features.  Geometrically incised limestones are a also a distinctive feature of both sites.

The photo below shows the Gault limestone artifact widely known as the "Wheatstone" (possibly Clovis age, more likely Archaic), the incised marks being interpreted as wheat stalks, on the rather questionable assumption that the image was intended to be viewed vertically.  In addition to its bird-like shape, this figure exhibits the face characteristic of  thousands of images at 33GU218 and other sites.  Note the mouth, the eye, and the crest over the forehead.  Given the overall morphology, it seems more plausible that  the incisions along the side represent feathers.  (Perhaps the Gault investigators will someday also "discover" this.)

Shown below, beneath the Gault bird, are three photos of similar figures (very common) at 33GU218.  Although without the finely incised ornamentation, they are clearly of the same form, and carved with the same characteristic face.

Bird Figure - Artifact from Day's Knob Archaeological Site

Bird Figure - Artifact from Day's Knob Archaeological Site

Below:  Both sides of a limestone bird from Day's Knob, this one with a more naturalistic face, but otherwise with essentially the same geometry as that of the Gault bird.  Note the reflectional (or at least thematic) symmetry, a well recognized hallmark of human agency.

Limestone Bird Figure from 33GU218 in Ohio

Below:  Left, a sandstone bird figure from the Dave Gillilan cache find in southern Ohio (possibly Late Archaic), about the same size and geometry as the Gault bird stone, right.  This was a popular style for a long time.

Below, a steatite (soapstone) figure from North Carolina (Terry Deal find), possibly Middle Archaic Period):
Engraved Steatite (Soapstone) Figure from North Carolina

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Below:  On the left, an incised limestone (stratigraphically verified as Clovis-age) from Gault.  On the right, one from 33GU218, shown refitted to the rock from which it was cut.

Gault photos below from http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/gault/clovis.html

 Incised Limestone - Gault Archaeological SiteIncised Limestone - Day's Knob Archaeological Site

Below:  A decorative quartz bird at Gault (facing left), with essentially the same form as many at 33GU218, like the sandstone image from this site shown in the photo beneath.

Quartz Bird Figure - Gault Archaeological Site

Bird Figure - Artifact from Day's Knob Archaeological Site

 

Below:  More birdlike effigies at Gault (all facing right).

Limestone Figure from Gault Archaeological Site - Photo by Peter A. Bostrom

Limestone Figure from Gault Archaeological Site - Photo by Peter A. Bostrom

 

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