Portable Rock Art in Missouri

Stacy Dodd & Rod Weber Finds

Jasper County

Site #23JP1222 (Missouri Archaeological Survey)

Mr. Dodd and Mr. Weber (the landowner) have recovered a large number of limestone and flint artifacts in a small area near Joplin, Missouri, from surface level to about 60 cm (2') down in unglaciated terrain, nicely representing the widespread prehistoric Figure Stones phenomenon.  Most of the pieces are not of the popularly recognized "Indian" variety, but two of them, shown below, have been certified by an "authenticator" of Native American artifacts who has identified them as "preforms".  (Almost certainly these are not preforms, but  fully formed simple general-purpose hand axes.)



Shown below are the other human-modified stones in direct context, exhibiting the polymorphic/polyiconic zoo-anthropomorphic imagery characteristic of such material.  As is so often the case, bird and bird-human motifs are predominant.  These artifacts were photographed by the author under less than optimal conditions, under a table lamp in a motel room in Zanesville, Ohio.


Bird-Human - Stacy Dodd / Rod Weber Find




A quasi-human figure with the common toothy grin.


A recurring motif discovered by this author in the old Figure Stones, which he has dubbed the Stargazer - a face staring upward, often open-mouthed, the figure typically standing on a flat or arched base.  Note the distinctly carved eye.  Below, other such ancient stone images from Australia, Ohio, England (Richard Wilson), and Germany (Ursel Benekendorff), and a modern but traditional Inuit sculpture.  This author has personally found the image in Figure Stones in USA, Europe, Australia, and Dominica. 

Ancient Stargazer Figure Stones and Inuit Sculpture

The name was applied in this author's finds when, in 2004, he saw the theme in the beautiful approx. 5000-year-old birdlike 17.2 cm (6.77") marble statue from Türkiye called "Stargazer" at the Cleveland Museum of Art.   Photo below:

The Stargazer - Cleveland Museum of Art

Below:  A bird-human Stargazer in sandstone from 33GU218 in Ohio.

A bird-human Stargazer in sandstone - artifact from 33GU218

Below:  A human Stargazer in flint from deep within glacial till at Groß Pampau in Germany.  (Ursel Benekendorff find.)



Drilled Zoomorphic Pendant - Stacy Dodd / Rod Weber Find

Apparently a zoomorphic drilled pendant.




More bird.


Bird - here the common theme of one creature atop another.


Again a bird, here with, below, the common motif of a humanlike head emerging like an egg from its posterior (featuring fortuitous fossil).  And note here also the common theme of a creature (bird?) emerging from the mouth.


 Another zoomorph with a humanlike face emerging from the posterior.

  Bird Pendant - Artifact from Day's Knob Archaeological Site

A large balanced bird-form pendant.  For comparison, right, a smaller one from the 33GU218 site in Ohio.






Left, a birdlike figure from 23JP1222.  Right, a quite similar one from a Paleolithic find site near London, England.

More coming...


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