There are more than 100 caves and rock sites in Tennessee that reveal forms of prehistoric art, and University of Tennessee archaeologist Jan Simek says he plans to find many others.
“There is a lot more out there to discover,” Simek said after presenting his team’s recent findings at the 2014 Current Research in Tennessee Archaeology meeting at Ellington Agricultural Center.
Simek, a distinguished professor of science at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and a team of archaeologists in recent years have made several new cave and rock art discoveries in the Cumberland Plateau, the Smoky Mountains and the river valley in East Tennessee. Some pictographs are underground and others in the open air, many dating back 6,000 years. Read more.
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. Read more.
FRANKLIN — Paul Litchy’s backyard at the end of a modern-day Franklin cul-de-sac was once a stomping ground for ice age man and beast.
This week, his backyard became one of 11 places added to the National Register of Historic Places by the state Historical Commission.
An archaeological excavation last fall turned up the bones, artifacts and animal remains that archaeologists now say prove human activity occurred here before 12,000 B.C. Litchy’s property — known as the Coats-Hines site — is one of the two oldest human settlements documented in Tennessee. Read more.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A Moccasin Bend spokesman says an archaeologist who discovered American Indian remains in a washout near an ongoing erosion project also discovered a nearby burial site that was looted at the historic site on the Tennessee River.
Spokesman Kent Cave said Wednesday that the burial sites were not uncovered by any erosion project work activity.
The Moccasin Bend National Archaeological District is part of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, and the grave looting and open burial site were discovered near an area where work is continuing on a $3.2 million first phase of riverbank stabilization work. Read more.