Museum of the Origins of Man



THE HUMAN HEAD IN MONOLITHIC PALEOLITHIC SCULPTURE (MENHIRS)





Fig. 12.1) Paleolithic anthropomorphic monolithic colossus.
This sculpture represents a human head. Photography 1961, retouched from the writer, as of bad quality. This megalith has nearly a flat face; the eyes and the mouth are represented with sinkings scarcely pointed out, that is there are not engravings.In the white retouching on the photography it seems the conrary.
Height (from the chin to the nape) approximately cm. 230, thickness approximately cm. 100.
Place: Locality Buschiazzi, S.Pietro d' Olba, Urbe, Savona, Italy.
Material culture: Mousterian or perhaps Aurignacian.
Photo: P.Gaietto
(Note: even if the quality of this photo is of insufficient quality, image is useful for who wants to find the great head, or in order to consider this head in the typology for new discoveries).


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Fig. 12,1a) Lithic Sculpture. (Menhir).It represents a human head with pointed hood.
Size: mt. 3.70 approximately.
Place: Carnac, Britain, France.
Material culture: Mousterian, perhaps upper Paleolithc.
(see Fig. 4.23). In Britain there are 4,750 menhir. This zone has been place of cult from the Mousterian until the II millenium B.C. At Carnac the menhirs are 2.730 and are aligned. The most ancient represent heads of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, and for this we attribute them to the Mousterian, but also those like this, that represent Homo sapiens sapiens, can be mousterian, as paleoanthropologists have established that Homo sapiens sapiens has appeared before 80,000 years ago.
Currently, the only system of cultural attribution is the inquiry through the represented human type; in fact, datings are not, because not there are " academics scolars" who take care about anthropomorphic menhirs. In order to research, it needs the subside of the State, that only the academic researchers can have. A menhir like this, if raised, discovers an intact site, that at least through the pollens, considering the progresses of science and technology, would have to supply enough precise datings.
(Photo by Licia Filingeri)


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Fig.12,1b) Lithic Sculpture. (Menhir). It represents a human head with stylistic deformation for vertical lengthening . P.Gaietto indicates the chin (Photo 1976).
Placing: Carnac, Britain, France.Perthesian artistic-religious civilization.
Material civilization: Mousterian or upper Paleolithc. (see Fig. 4.27). These types of sculptures, even if are semifrontal or flat behind, have the chin represented full-relief. For the chin and the forehead it can be interpreted like representation of Homo sapiens sapiens.
In the anthropomorphic menhirs of Carnac, exists a remarkable variety of styles. Since the style is the language of the art of a people and of a period, this means that the menhirs of various style have been produced in different periods.


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Fig.12,1c) Lithic Sculpture. (Menhir). It represents a human head, constituted from half face, and in prosecution, also from half head. P.Gaietto indicates the tip of the nose, and the chin. (Photo by Licia Filingeri 1976).
Place: Carnac, Britain, France.
Material culture: Mousterian or upper Paleolithc.
In this frontal version the nose is looked at; up, at the sides of the nose, the two orbital zones (that replace the eyes); therefore, the right eye is frontal, while the left eye (orbital zone) is looked at partially, and better represented in this sculpture in lateral view. The forehead is wide; the cheeks a little less; the jaw is shrunk in tip.


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Fig. 12,1d) Lithic Sculpture (Menhir). It represents a human head with pointed nape (pointed hood?), that seems broken off (see drawing). Lacking of neck.
Place: Carnac, Britain, France.
Material civilization: Mousterian or upper Paleolithc.
Stylistic deformation is elegant, and of lengthened vertical type.


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Fig. 4.37) Lithic Sculpture. (Menhir). It representsu a human head with neck, look turned up, and strongly stylistic deformation. However, it could be an artistic hybrid man-animal .
Size: mt. 180 approximately.
Placing: Carnac, Britain, France.
Perthesian or matthesiana artistic-religious civilization.
Material culture: Mousterian or upper Paleolithc.


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Fig. 4.38) Lithic sculptures. (They are two menhirs in second plan of which one pulled down). They represent (see sculpture on the right) a human head with a long neck. The stylistic deformation is of geometric type, or nearly. In any case, particulars of face and head are abolished all, for a substitutive artistic invention, that, however, is of extraordinary purity.
Size:mt. 2.50 approximately.
Place: Carnac, Britain, France.
Material culture: upper Paleolithc?



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Fig. 4.39) Lithic Sculpture (Menhir). It represents a head with neck, and look turned up.
Size: beyond mt. 4.
Placing: Carnac, Britain, France.
Material culture: Mousterian or upper Paleolithc.
The human type has features mixed of Homo sapiens sapiens and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.



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Fig. 4.40) Lithic Sculpture (Menhir). It represents a human head with a long neck.P.Gaietto indicates the orbital zone, and the beginning of the neck (Photo by Licia Filingeri 1976).
Place: Carnac, Britain, France.
Material culture: Mousterian or upper Paleolithc.



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Fig. 4.42) Lithic Sculpture (Menhir). It represents a human head with look upwards, and the body.
Size: mt. 3 approximately.
Place: Carnac, Britain, France.
Material culture: Mousterian or perhaps first millennia upper Paleolithc.
The head is pointed, perhaps has a hat.
The human type more verisimilary is Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.






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