Friday, June 05, 2015

Expedient Imagery

      “An unusual finding is what is being called “expedient imagery”. Sustaining the theory that the occupations relate to the rock art, these objects consist of only slightly modified natural stones resembling animals (Fig. 8) and birds (Fig. 9), and possibly a phallus. It would appear that these were selected for what they appeared to be and possibly used in rituals pertaining to nearby rock art. All of them were found in secure stratigraphic positions. One of them was cloven so as to lay flat (Fig. 9). Also on the engraved panel, there is a quartz vein thought by some to resemble an “eagle”.

The Hensler Petroglyph Site (47 CO 461): an early engraving site in the North American Mid-Continent ~ Jack Steinbring

{STEINBRING J. 2012. — The Hensler Petroglyph Site (47 CO 461): an early engraving site in the North American Mid-Continent. In: CLOTTES J. (dir.), L’art pléistocène dans le monde / Pleistocene art of the world / Arte pleistoceno en el mundo, Actes du Congrès IFRAO, Tarascon-sur-Ariège, septembre 2010, Symposium « Art pléistocène dans les Amériques ». N° spécial de Préhistoire, Art et Sociétés, Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Ariège-Pyrénées, LXV-LXVI, 2010-2011, CD: p. 599-606.}

    “Linkage to the engraved panel may be made in general by the finding of what we call “expedient imagery” (Figure 11). As the name implies this is imagery which occurs in nature. An object, usually of stone, is collected for use in some kind of ritual act. It may have a shape akin to one that might be needed. Collection and use of objects like this is not uncommon among aboriginal populations of North America. In the case at Hensler, the first of these to be encountered in the excavations is a form resembling a bird or possibly a reptile (Figure 11c). The piece was recovered at level 8 and was flat on the surface. In fact, this specimen is cloven (the other piece missing) so that it might remain stable on the ground. The underside of this piece is rough from the detachment, not smooth like the top. Its orientation was consistent with Mid-winter sunset. The object is a glacially transported and abraded piece, having only slight embellishment at the “eye.” It may well have remained in the location of its discovery since it functioned there on the living floor…”

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