Later Acheulian Marking Motifs I - Bilzingsleben, Germany / b)blzcm567
Illustrations of three more Bilzingsleben artifacts with possible marking motifs.
Comment: (a) two parallel arcs on the polished surface of an ivory point (Bednarik 1995: fig. 3a; Mania and Mania 1988:94, where it is listed as possibly an intentional marking strategy). Steguweit (1999) does not examine this piece. Its intentionality is open to question. While the intentionality of the marks on this object are open to question, I tend to agreewith Bednarik and I accept them as intentional until proven otherwise.
Comment: (b) an "apparently nonutilitarian marking occurs also on a quartzite slab; it is a well-executed D-shape" or "arcuate design" "engraved with a number of strokes and it seems that the artisan experienced problems in shaping the curved part of the figure symmetrically, correcting the line several times in the process. To my mind this clearly indicates intentionality" (Bednarik 1995). This object is not examined in Steguweit (1999). Its intentionality is open to question and, like the preceding object, it needs a thorough re-examination. While the intentionality of the marks on this object are open to question, I tend to agreewith Bednarik and I accept them as intentional until proven otherwise.
Comment: (c) "geometric arrangement" engraved on a tarsal bone from a forest elephant (Mania and Mania 1988:94). Bednarik (1995:608 and fig. 3c) observes of the same object that it is "a very complex arrangement" and "neither the structure of the marking nor its relationship to its support suggests a utilitarian origin. The bone is hardly suitable as a cutting board and no alternative explanation has been offered for the marks." This object is not examined in Steguweit (1999). It also needs a thorough re-examination. Bednariks transcription of the engraving shows what appears to be one rectangle engraved inside another rectangle. The rectangular border zone created between the two rectangles is marked with many parallel and perpendicular strokes and chevron shapes that might be intended as divergent and/or convergent line motifs. The superposition of the rectangles with overlapping lines gives the appearance of a lattice design; the border area, crosshatching. To me this mark like the double rectangle seems to be intended as a combination of two sides or half of a rectangle and half of a circle and thus also a combination of two geometric shape of space motifs.
Illustrations © Bednarik, R.G. (1995). Concept-mediated marking in the Lower Paleolithic. Current Anthropology 36,4:605-634. Figures 3.