It’s a stone carved into a snakes head. This was found mixed in with a load of stones for a driveway. Location: East Coast USA.
Take it to a local museum.
Frequently small items were dropped or abandoned and end up in the detritus that gets dug up and used for gravel. Frequently gravel is ‘mined’ in riverbeds, and small rocks can be picked up and carried by meltwater.
Medusa was looking too closely at her hair.
Or more seriously, I think some of the East Coast tribes revered snakes; it might be a ritual object of some sort.
I don’t know what it is but I like it a lot.
How big is the stone?
That is really cool. I found references to another Native American snake head rock but it is from North Dakota.
I will give you $100+ shipping for it right now (seriously).
To me that looks much more like a salamander head than a snake head.
It is pretty damn cool all the same.
Very cool. And it is definitely stone, and not ceramic?
Place a nickel or quarter next to it and retake the pic.
Wow, that is so cool! (to repeat what everyone else is saying!)
Chance of that thing being cursed: 100%
My first thought was “frog”, but salamander is probably better given the neck. Still, amphibian.
Could it be the top piece of a scepter or staff? Did Indian chiefs carry those?
After its Cleaned up it would make a nice paperweight for your office. A 1/4 cup bleach in a pail of water and some brushing should clean it up.
And to me, it looks like the head of a turtle I used to have.
Looks more like a salamander than a snake. But that may be the best the artist could do with the medium.
Oh dear god, please no. You don’t take any unusual artifacts and ‘clean’ or improve on them to make them into paperweights. That is rule #1 when dealing with something of this sort. It may or may not be valuable but you made me and lots of other people recoil at the thought. If it does have any historical value, that is the fastest way to fix that pesky problem.
My cash offer still stands by the way.
I didn’t think a toothbrush and some water would hurt a rock. I’m sure it got rained & snowed on in the woods.
I see your point that as a historical artifact the patina matters and shouldn’t be disturbed. I’m sorry for giving bad advice.
its also magnetic: http://i.imgur.com/Hwky2.jpg
In the first photo it looks like the area of carving around the eye is weathered distinctly less than the immediately adjacent stone, maybe indicating a not so ancient origin (?). The other photos not so much, so maybe it’s just the way the photo is. Nonetheless, more votes for cool, don’t clean, and show it to a museum or university type. Might also want to see if you can find out where the load of stones came from. Fun way to spend a day, picking through a pile of rocks where there might be ancient artifacts.
It is really cool. Imagine how close it came to being lost forever as part of a driveway.