I received the following photo and information from a woman (first initial “T”) who lives in Washington County, Alabama, which is in the southwestern part of the state. Many times, the rock art photos sent to me by readers of the blog have a resemblance to human heads or face effigies, but in this case, my own opinion is that it looks like a fish head. T mentioned that her first thought was that it might be a fossil, but after showing it to some archeologists, she said they “… have been nothing be nice, but not very informative, and it’s a study still ongoing.” If anyone out there has seen something like this before, or has some area of expertise to share, please do so in the comments section below.
As to my own curiosity about whether it’s a Native American artifact, I see here that the general area that makes up current day Washington County was long inhabited by various indigenous people. In historic times, European traders first encountered the Choctaw, whose territory extended through most of what is now Mississippi, and later the Creek Indians, who had moved southwest from Georgia ahead of early European settlers who were moving onto their land. T mentioned that she has found indigenous artifacts as well as musket balls on her property, noting that it’s near the former location of a railroad track that was used during the Civil War, but that there are only trees there now and no sign of where the track used to be.
I love it when something found like this rock art can spark several history lessons and a curiosity to learn more!