My blog posts on rock art continue to prompt people to email me their pictures and stories … and this one is pretty interesting. Mel from New York State writes: “I was in Bloomfield, NY in the Catskills doing drainage for new building. I dug down about 6′-7′ but I found this when I was leveling out the remaining dirt. I tried stomping on it for it to go down but it wouldn’t go deep enough, so I got the shovel and when I dug it up, I noticed the carving on it. But it was caked with dirt, so it wasn’t until I rinsed it off that I saw what I had found.”
Mel adds: “Maybe someone will recognize it. When I used the image feature on this android, it said ‘Peking man indigenous human’.” I wasn’t familiar with “Peking Man,” so when I did a search, I see this. I can perhaps see some similarities, but when I looked at the top left picture blown up large, I thought the eyes, wide nose, and high-perched ears (if I’m seeing that correctly), along with the side view with suggested wavy hair – or fur? – my first visual association is that of a lion – here’s another image link, showing a carved lion, with prominent cheek bones like Mel’s found object.
But as I always say in these posts, I’m not a rock art expert myself, so I’m just responding to what I see, and invite people to share their own thoughts or feedback in the comments section below. For example, while I first thought “lion,” I can also say that the lack of a chin and the way it looks in the profile view seems less lion-like. Here’s another straight-on view of the same carved rock art head, in a larger format.
What do you think? Is it meant to represent a human, as Mel thinks? Or an animal, which was my reaction? The fascinating thing to me is that it’s clearly carved by human hands, there’s no mistaking those eyes as being anything other than carved by a human. And it’s fascinating that it would be buried six to seven feet underground. Mel and I would both love to hear any thoughts on this object that he found.