USA

  • This 1,200 AD drawing, found on an open bluff in Alabama, depicts an anthropomorphic figure and two circles. Drawings found in the open air were almost always painted red. (Photo: Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood / Antiquity
  • This image of cave art from an open bluff in North Alabama depicts a human figure, possibly the shaman/artist himself, 1,200 AD. (Photo credit: Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood / Antiquity Publications Ltd.)
  • An unknown symbol similar to those appearing in early religious drawings is seen in this undated handout photo provided by the University of Tennessee, taken in Dunbar Cave in Clarksville, Tennessee. (Photo credit: Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood / Antiquity Publications Ltd.)
  • A 6,000-year-old charcoal pictograph showing what could be a human hunting is seen in this undated handout photo provided by the University of Tennessee, taken in a cave located in Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood / Antiquity Publications LTD.)
  • Charcoal pictographs of scorpions found in Georgia, probably late prehistoric period. (Photo credit: Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood / Antiquity Publications Ltd.)
  • The owl seen here was carved in mud by the native ancient peoples of Tennessee. Some Native American peoples in the southeastern United States associated mud with the origin of the world. (Photo Credit: Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood / Antiquity Publications LTD.)
  • A bird-like figure holding weapons is seen in a 14th century pictograph in an undated handout photo provided by the University of Tennessee, taken in Devilstep Hollow Cave, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood / Antiquity Publications Ltd.)
  • A black charcoal drawing from approximately 1,200 AD shows a quadruped with bird talons, in a Tennessee cave. (Photo credit: Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood / Antiquity Publications Ltd.)
  • This image is part of the most extensive collection of prehistoric cave art found in the United States. It appears to be flying turkeys, approximately 900 AD, found in a Tennessee cave. (Photo Credit: Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood / Antiquity Publications LTD.)
  • Scientists use laser scanners to capture images of Tennessee cave art in a non-destructive manner.(Photo Credit: Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood / Antiquity Publications LTD.)

Oldest Known US Cave Art Discovered in Cumberland Plateau

Published July 23, 2013

University of Tennessee science professor Jan Simek, leader of the team that discovered the 6,000-year-old art, says he is far from finished looking for more. The discovery found in the Cumberland Plateau, a division of the Appalachian Mountains extending from southern West Virginia to northern Alabama, is featured in the June issue of "Antiquity," the archeological journal published by Britain's Durham University.


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