Museum of the Origins of Man
HORIZONTAL ZOOMORPHIC POST-PALEOLITHIC COLOSSUS OF SURFACE
In North and South America there are colossal artistic horizontal structures produced with build up of stones.
We define "sculptures" these structures from a typological point of view, although the word seems inappropriate, as we look like "sculptures" current soft toys.
The colossal sculptures of this type are zoomorphic, as they depict terrestrial and marine mammals, birds, reptiles, spiders, amphibians.
In North America (U.S.), these horizontal sculptures had funerary function (mounds), while in South America (Perou) had function of "sacred paths" (paths of prayer).
In various regions of South America zoomorphous engravings (graffiti) are a great nombre made on rocks both vertical and horizontal, which could be floor for "sacred paths."
The enormous horizontal sculptures, made with accumulation of stones, are also present in Eurasia, such as the "white horse" (Fig.24A2).
Age of mentioned works ranges between 2000 and 500 years ago.
The technique ofworking is less simple than it might seem, since, given the huge size, there should be a person who did the project (scale drawing), with artistic and naturalistic capabilities and with good knowledge of "engineering" , as people who did manual work were not able to "see" and "determine" these huge figures, which can be seen only from an airplane.
The artistic aspect is further evident in the style of the head of the serpent (Fig.24A1), in the style of deformation of the riding "white horse" (Fig.24A2) and of the colibri in geometric style (Fig. 24A5).
Fig. 24A1) Post-paleolithic horizontal "sculpture" of surface (mound).
(Planimetry) It represents a snake. The head is completely invented according to the fashionable stylistic language in the time in which it has been made.
Here we introduce others two Americans mounds, in Ohio, of which one is dated 500 years ago.
Sculpture is made with build up of stones.
Size: lenght 400 mt., eight from 75 to 90 cm.
Positioning: Adams County, Ohio, US ?.
See similarity with Fig.24A4
Fig. 24A2) Post-paleolithic horizontal "sculpture" of surface (mound).
(Planimetry) It represents a quadruped, and is called the "white horse" in how much made with white stones.
Size: lenght 114 mt. (374 feet); width on the average from mt. 1,5 to mt. 3,0 (from 5 to 10 feet).
Placing: Village of the Castle of Uffington, England.
Dating: 1000 B.C.
The stylistic language is elegant, and is similar to that of artistic productions of normal size.
Fig. 24A3) Post-paleolithic horizontal "sculpture" of surface (mound).
(drawing by Squier and Davis, 1848).
Commonly called "the panther", but the opinions in US are different: who considers it an alligator, who an opossum, who a lizard, who a salamander.
Constructed at the top of a hill, with build up of stones.
Placing: Licking Countj, Ohio, US.
Dating: 500 years ago!
Fig. 24A4) Post-paleolithic horizontal "sculpture" of surface (mound).
(Photography draft from an old postcard.)
It represents a snake.
Constructed with build up of stones.
Positioning: Sinking Spring, Ohio, US ?.
NOTICE: It is equal in all to the mound Fig. 24A1, so we could doubt that it is the same art's work.
Fig. 24A5) Colossal horizontal post-paleolithic "sculpture"obtained by accumulation of stones (name in use: Nazca Lines).
It depicts a Colibri, the smallest bird of the American continent, which is still in the air to feed the nectar of flowers.
The art style is geometric.
The interpretation on the work's use by scholars is that of a "sacred journey" for a procession of collective prayer. From the image you can imagine an enormous size in length and width, thus exceeding the North American mounds .
Culture: Civilization of Nazca.
Dating of the work: between 1300 and 550 years ago.
The site is in South Perou.
Copyright©1999-2009 by Museo delle Origini dell'Uomo, all rights reserved.