DStretch (filter YRE) of the lower, faded pictograph.

Telephoto image by Mike Chervinko of the brow and eyes of the Great Stone Face along the Big River in Jefferson County, MO. Two indentations (sockets?) in the right eye area (marked with red lines) and two indentations in the left eye (not marked) may be natural OR they maybe manmade for the purpose to attaching some kind of wood or cloth inlays. This would require technical repelling gear to confirm or deny.


Two views of the Great Stone Face (23JE632) taken from the Big River. Left view (Dr. Michael Fuller in kayak) was taken by Richard Orr during January 2023 and the right view was taken during November 2022 (with Richard Orr in the kayak). The site is situated 7 miles from the major petroglyph panels at Washington State Park.


Image of the prominent red pigment sun circle and the more ignamatic red pictograph (to the right) that "may be" the pictograph that Walker described as a "bird-like' figure with its left wing touching the sun circle and its "arrow-like other wing points to the opposite direction" (Bartholomew 1968:158). Telephoto image by Mike Chervinko, January 2023.


Great Stone Face (23JE634)

Bartholomew (1968:158) published a long distant photograph of the Great Face and noted that the site had been visited by Winslow M. Walker (Smithsonian Institution) in 1940. Walker recognized that the natural face-like features had been accentuated by the painting of two sun circles as well a "bird-like" pictograph; he speculated that the date for the paintings would be approximately AD 1000. Bartholomew (1968175) credits Frank Magre for his help in researching and field explorations. 

Photograph by Michael Cloney, June 2012.

Old Man of the Mountains (New Hampshire) U. S. Postage stamp with special thanks to David Semsrott Stamps, Kirkwood, MO. The stamp was issued in 1955; sadly, the Great Stone Face collapsed on 3 May 2004. An on-line article on the web makes a link between the Old Man of the Mountains and the Native American oral traditions of the Abenaki Nation (https://indigenousnh.com/2021/03/26/abenaki-storytelling/). 

<--Madison Point. Length = 27.5 mm, width = 13.5 mm, thickness = 3.2 mm, and weight = 1.35 grams.

Madison Point. Length = 18.1 mm, width = 11.3 mm,  thickness = 3.8 mm, and weight = 0.62 grams ----->

There is a tradition of a profile face of a Osage warrior is located in Camden County, MO. Barrett (1916:63, 68) described the 95 ft. high feature called Neongwa, as marking the location of the birth lodge of a great chief. Barrett related the story of Neongwa was told in 1806 by a warrior named  Ke-Stas (Osage, snail?) who was a "Keeper of the Honor Packs of War" and wore a Panther skin robe that most likely indicated his leadership role in the Panther clan of the Earth moiety of the Osage Nation. If Barrett's retelling is correct, then this would be a great chief one or two generations before Pawhuska. 

It is easy to dismiss Barrett's writing as "fake" Indian lore EXCEPT he is writing before the Osage dictionary was published by LaFlesche (1932:85) where Ke-Shton-ga is defined as "soft-shelled turtle"; LaFlesche does not give a word for snail. Neongwa parallels LaFlesche (132:109) ni-on-gthu-ce which can mean "respiration of breath; a sigh."

The Ne-ong-wa Rock site number is 23CM1175.

Scallorn point. Length = 18.8 mm, width = 12.5 mm, thickness = 4.2 mm, and weight = 0.80 grams ------>

<--- Reworked Nebo Hill point. Length = 71.5 mm, width = 22.6, thickness = 12.2 mm, weight = 16.99 grams

<--- Stone tool that greatly resembles a Gainey point, but with unusual thickness and width. Length = 69.5 mm, width = 38.1 mm, thickness = 13.8 mm, and weight = 37.95 grams

Hammerstone from local chert. Length = 52.8 mm, width = 44.9 mm, thickness = 24.2 mm, and weight = 67.49


Sandstone block with two pronounced cupules as well as a shadow circular, central depression. The left cupule measures 40 mm in diameter and the right cupule measures 44 mm in diameter; both measure 14 mm in depth. The shallow depression measures 151 mm in diameter and depth is 6 mm. Dimensions of the sandstone block: length = 35 cm, width =  30 cm, thickness = 10 cm, and weight = 16.8 kilograms (37 pounds). This artifact was found decades ago and left inside the barn on the property. It "may" have been used to prepare pigment. It show at least two plow scars. DStretch filter LDS may show traces of pigment staining.

Matanza point from a nearby campsite possibly associated with the Great Stone Face. Length = 55.5 mm, width = 32.5 mm, thickness = 9.1 mm and weight = 16.3 grams. Private collection ----->

<-----Langtry point base from a nearby campsite possibly associated the Great Stone Face. Length = 27.5 mm, width = 32.0 mm, thickness = 6.7 mm, and weight = 5.91 grams. 

<----- Smith Basal Notched point from a nearby campsite possibly associated with the Great Stone Face. Length = 77.6 mm, Width = 51.3 mm, Thickness = 12.7 mm, and weight = 40.59 grams. Private collection

Matanza point from a nearby campsite possibly associated with the Great Stone Face. Length = 69.3 mm, width = 33.2 mm, thickness = 88 mm, and weight = 18.93 grams 

Private collection ----------------->

View from the bluff top directly above the Great Stone Face. The red ochre paintings are 7 meters below the rim of the cliff. See our climbing rope in the left hand corner of the photograph! Photograph by Michael Fuller June 2012.

Michael Fuller

Barrett, Stephen Melvil

1916 Shinkah, the Osage Indian. Harlow Publishing Co., Oklahoma City.

​Bartholomew, Harland

1968 A Report upon the Historic Sites Study of Jefferson County, Missouri. Harland Bartholomew and Associates, St. Louis.

Beveridge, Thomas

1980 Geologic Wonders and Curiosities of Missouri. Missouri Division of Geology and Land Survey, Rolla. 

Diaz-Granados, Carol
1993  The Petroglyphs and Pictographs of Missouri. Dissertation presented to the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Diaz-Granados, Carol and James R. Duncan
2000 The Petroglyphs and Pictographs of Missouri.University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

LaFlesche, Francis

1932 A Dictionary of the Osage Language. Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.

Turkey Buzzard flies above the Great Stone Face. The red pigment pictographs can be seen just below the "chin."   Photograph by Mike Chervinko, January 2023.


DStretch image (filter YDT) of the telephoto image taken by Mike Chervinko during January 2023.


<-------Crisp ovate/Unnotched Scallorn point. Length = 20.8 mm, width = 10.7 mm, thickness = 2.67, and weight = 0.54 grams.

Crisp ovate/Unnotched Scallorn point. Length = 23.1 mm, width = 10.9 mm, thickness = 3.3 mm, and weight = 0.69 grams ---------------------------------->


There is a chance that experts will attempt to get C-14 samples from both of the large pictographs at the Great Face Site. The necessary sample size is only half of a little fingernail which can usually be removed in a way that can not be seen (along the edge of the pictograph). Until then, we can note that stone tools found at a nearby campsite indicate that the presence of First People in the area definitely by the Late Archaic Period (3000 - 1000 BC). One artifact, most likely a Clovis point, suggests a nearby occupation as early as 10,000 to 9,000 BC. The nearby campsite as also yielded Mississippian Period points (Scallorn and Madison points) dating to approximately AD 1000 to 1300.

The Great Stone Face (23JE632) archaeological site is an impressive natural rock formation that was "decorated" with red pigment pictographs. The site is situated on private property and is not open to the public. The site is illustrated by Diaz-Granados (1993:Figure 20.1) and Diaz-Granados and Duncan (2000:Figure 4.9); their report gives the site name as Frumet. The site is situated on a high bluff in the Meramec River Drainage. The site is briefly discussed in Beveridge (1980:100 -101). The site was registered with the Archaeological Survey of Missouri by Diaz-Granados and Magre during 1995.