Bird Spirit, Simple Form


This is one of two found by the author in 1992 near the top of Ben Lawers, a 1220 m (4000') mountain in the Scottish highlands, kept not because they were recognized as artifacts at the time, but because they were pretty souvenirs for his then six year old daughter who also made the climb.

It shares with the similar objects at Day's Knob the intricately carved micro-art images on its surface, showing the Bird Spirit sending forth birds from its mouth.  Some of these are shown below.  The similarity of the imagery at the two widely separated locations is remarkable, but the varied colors in this Scottish rock give the figures a particular vividness.

This figure, about 9 mm (0.35") in length, is inside the eye of the primary image.  Note that its mouth (left end) is distinctly in the form of a bird's profile, a feature very common at Day's Knob.  Below:  Four micro-art images from the same rock, all in the same theme.



Below:  The other of the two rocks.

The other rock from Ben Lawers.  Note the distinct bird profile in the mouth, left, with its own clearly chipped mouth and eye.  Also note the bird head at the top of the rock, and the possible depiction of a bird head emerging from a mouth on the right side.
An edge of the rock.  Note the bird-human face at the right end, juxtaposed with a somewhat more literal bird head form behind it, much like the flint figure below from Day's Knob.  A face with a figure emerging from the mouth is also evident at the opposite (left) end.

Below:  Three micro-art figures from the second Ben Lawers rock.  The first is a nice example of a two-face image, very common also at Day's Knob.


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