Originally published 06/11/2013
The oldest and most widespread collection of prehistoric cave and rock art in the United States has been found in and around Tennessee, according to a new paper in the journal Antiquity that documents the art. It provides intriguing clues about what life was like for Native American societies more than 6,000 years ago. That is the age of the newly discovered cave art, one of which is seen here, showing what appears to be a human hunting. Other images are of a more direct spiritual/mythological nature.Lead author Jan Simek, president emeritus and a distinguished professor of science at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Anthropology, told Discovery News, “The discoveries tell us that prehistoric peoples in the Cumberland Plateau used this rather distinctive upland environment for a variety of purposes and that religion was part of that broader sense of place.” Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood/Antiquity Publications Ltd.A very large polychrome pictograph depicts humans, serpents and circles. The image, from the same overall site, but extending into Alabama, likely illustrated a myth spread across generations via word of mouth, with such permanent imagery further preserving its meaning, lost to history....
Originally published 02/14/2013
MILITARY laser technology normally used to map out the battlefield is coming to the aid of crumbling prehistoric rock carvings in Teesdale.No one knows who created the carved rocks that appear in a number of spots on the fells of Teesdale – or why.The Neolithic art created 5,000 years ago bears a series of mysterious shapes, including concentric circles, interlocking rings and hollowed cups....
Originally published 01/22/2013
THE small steel door in the mountainside is the same shade of green as the lush vegetation surrounding us. Before we enter, my guide, prehistorian Roberto Ontañón Peredo, asks if I would like him to switch on the main lights. I decide to discover this place the way my ancestors would have done, with just a small bubble of light. As the door closes behind us, we flick on our flashlights and their beams pick out the irregular walls of the El Castillo cave. What strikes me first is the size of the cavern: I've been in churches that could fit in here.This cave, in northern Spain, was regularly visited by our prehistoric ancestors for tens of thousands of years, and as I follow Roberto inside, I see some of the extraordinary paintings they left behind. Red deer, bison and mammoths hide in the shadows, their outlines eerily materialising ...
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