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25. June 2013 06:01
by coyotes

Oldest Cave Art in the US Discovered

25. June 2013 06:01 by coyotes | 0 Comments

Researchers have announced the discovery of prehistoric art dating back 6000 years located in caves on the Cumberland Plateau in and near Tennessee.  These pictographs, the oldest U.S. cave art to date, offer a glimpse into the lives and beliefs of early Native Americans.

The rock art include drawings of hunters, birds and snakes, as well as what authors of the article in Antiquity describe as heroic or ceremonial images of humans turning into animal forms, flying through the air, or reaching through walls.  While most of the drawing are pictographs, a few are images scratched into the damp clay of Mud Glyph Cave, according to the Fox News story.

Lead author Jan Simek, professor emeritus of the Department of Anthropology, University of Tennessee, hypothesizes that the cave art may be tied to surface rock art in the area.  He suggests that the art may show images from three levels of existence: an upper, celestial world, a middle world showing life on the earth’s surface, and an underworld.  Cumberland Plateau cave art often depicted images of a lower world filled with darkness, danger and death.  For example, scorpion drawings appear only in deep caves where they appear to be part of the First People’s lower world imagery.  Others, such as transformation images and rayed circles, are found both on surface objects as well as in caves.

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