|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).
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.
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.
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.