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 05/02/2013
HARGEISA, Somaliland — The world’s most famous prehistoric art is in caverns in Europe, but the most recently discovered ancient cave paintings are in a country no other nation recognizes in a region of Africa associated mostly with terrorism, pirates and famine.The Laas Geel cave paintings in Somaliland in the Horn of Africa are not as old or famous as the art in France’s Lascaux or Spain’s Altamira caves, but the quality is just as good, archaeologists say.Unlike the European caves, however, Laas Geel has no chance of international protection as a site on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of the region’s complicated diplomatic situation....
Originally published 03/18/2013
Some of the world's ancient art is at risk of disappearing, Newcastle University experts have warned. Researchers from the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS) and School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences (CEG) studied the physical underpinnings and condition of Neolithic and Bronze Age rock art panels in Northumberland. They conclude climate change could cause the art to vanish because new evidence suggests stones may deteriorate more rapidly in the future.
Originally published 01/29/2013
Mexican archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) recently located and recorded a rock panel covered in petroglyphs that may have been carved between 850 and 1350 CE.The site named “Cantil de las animas” [Ledge of Souls] is near the town of Jesus Maria Cortes in Tepic, Nayarit, Western Mexico.The carved symbolic representations, which are attributed to the ancient Aztlan culture, were located in a new archaeological zone within the region’s mountainous zone, and they cover a south facing surface of vertical rock about 4 metres long and 2 metres high....
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