Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News

BRADSHAW FOUNDATION - LATEST NEWS

 

Cumberland Plateau rock art provides insights into Native American societies

14 Jun 2013
Bradshaw Foundation
Article

A new paper in the journal Antiquity provides fascinating insights into what life was like for Native American societies over 6,000 years ago. The widespread collection of prehistoric rock art and cave paintings were discovered in the Cumberland Plateau, a division of the Appalachian Mountains in the United States.

The papers lead author Jan Simek professor of science at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Anthropology, said "Yes, we have cave art that is 6,000 years old," Simek said. "But we don't want to say it is the oldest rock art (in the United States)."

Cumberland Plateau Rock Art Cave Paintings Tennessee USA America

Prehistoric painting of dog figures - Photo by Alan Cressler

Comparing it to dates for paleolithic cave art in Europe and other petroglyphs found around the world, the 6,000 year old date is still comparatively young, when contrasted to over 30,000 years ago for the cave paintings of Chauvet in France. However, the date and discoveries at the Cumberland Plateau are significant, and the important work being carried out by Jan Simek and his team, provide an engaging window into the practices of societies 6,000 years ago, with rock paintings appearing to depict hunting scenes and others of a more mythological/spiritual nature.

Other sites in the United States have significant concentrations of rock art, such as the petroglyphs of the Coso Range in eastern California and the Great Mural Rock Art located on the walls and ceilings of rock shelters in the mountains of northern Baja California.

Cumberland Plateau Rock Art Cave Paintings Tennessee USA America

Pictograph of a concentric circle

The research in Tennessee is still in its early stages with around 1,000 of the 9,000 caves looked at so far, Simek stated “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's team includes Alan Cressler of the U.S. Geological Survey; Nicholas P. Hermann of Mississippi State University and Sarah C. Sherwood of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

For more on the rock art of America visit the American Rock Art Archive

Antiquity Journal

COMMENTS

 
Bradshaw FoundationAboutiShopBook ReviewSite MapMailing ListDonateFacebookTwitterContact
If you have enjoyed visiting this section of the website please consider adding a link
Bradshaw Foundation © MMXI
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Join the free Mailing List Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Coso Range Nevada Oregon Territory Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Ian Wilson Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Portable Art Research Paper Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Tanum Rock Art Museum Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation