The Guernsey County Venus

An Ancient Limestone Venus Figure at 33GU218 in Ohio

 

Limestone Venus Figure - Day's Knob Site (33GU218)

This limestone artifact was discovered in April 2015 eroding from a bank at approximately 25 cm below the current terrain surface (see in-situ photo below).

Limestone Venus Figure In Situ, 33GU218

Its front surface, face down in the photo, is carved and ground into an unmistakable human female form, while the back remains mostly unworked gray cortex.  In the photos above note the clear morphological similarity of the figure to that of the well known Neolithic and earlier "Venus" figures (unfortunate terminology that we're apparently stuck with), down to the breasts, defined pubic area, tapered (and laterally concave) base, and subparallel incised striations along the sides.

Incised Lines on Limestone Venus Figure at 33GU218

The head possibly bears highly weathered facial features on its cortical back surface, but more obviously it is fashioned as a sharply pointed and bifacially edged blade that does not appear to have actually been used as such.  The piece's overall form, in addition to being that of a shapely human female, presents an ergonomic blade-with-handle configuration, the blending of utility and iconicity typical of the artifacts at this site.

Limestone "Venus" Figure as a Tool - 33GU218

As far as this author is aware, this is the first discovery in the western hemisphere of an ancient artifact in the classic Upper Palaeolithic Venus form.  Of course it may or may not be of pre-Holocene manufacture, but if not, it almost certainly represents the migration of an old and well recognized mental template from Eurasia to North America.

The photos below show some less spectacular yet quite interesting smaller limestone artifacts that appeared in close proximity to the Venus.  Note that the incised lines on the bird-form piece are very much like those on the Venus figure.

Incised Limestone Bird-Form Figure at 33GU218

Incised Lines on Limestone Venus Figure at 33GU218

Limestone Figure from 33GU218 in Ohio

 

(More photos forthcoming...)

 

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