Horse Head Figure in Limestone

At 33GU218


Horse Figure in Limestone - Day's Knob Archaeological Site

This horse-like figure was found eroding from a steep bank above an artificially cut terrace on the east (sheltered) side of the knob.  Its appearance is obviously uncommonly naturalistic, down to abrading of the muzzle area for a lighter color, appropriately placed mouth, nostril, and eye - actually two eyes, one above the other, the bottom (round) one having been, like the nostril, pecked into the surface.  The top (detailed) eye was painted on with an iron oxide paste (red ochre), as  on other rock paintings at this site.


In the two-face/bifrontal ("janiform") style quite characteristic of the image-bearing material at this site, the right edge of the horse stone displays the classic simple face consisting of a mouth and a diamond-shaped eye.

The reverse side of the stone, seemingly a sitting sphinx-like figure exhibiting the common motif of another creature emerging from the belly (bottom left.)

This artifact may have some potential in the problematic matter of determining the temporal association of the site as a whole.  Horse ancestors in the western hemi sphere supposedly became extinct sometime between 10,000 and 13,000 years ago.  This figure is intriguing also in the context of another one at the site, a petroglyph in which natural features of the rock have been enhanced by professionally (geologist/petrologist) verified carving to depict what looks very much like the head of a long-extinct mastodon on fine-grained sandstone bedrock about 60 cm ( 24") below the current terrain surface:

Mastodon(?) Petroglyph - Day's Knob Archaeological Site


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