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Picture Cave Missouri Sold at Auction
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Picture Cave Missouri, the Mississippian era ceremonial cave near St Louis, containing some of the most incredible pictographs in North America has sold at auction for $2.2 million to bidders who wish to remain anonymous. There is no word on what plans the new owners have for this cultural masterpiece. Details about the Picture Cave sale are in this NPR story here. The 43-acre parcel was sold on September 14 by Selkirk Auctions. We are of course disappointed that the cultural asset was not moved to public or tribal hands. Picture Cave relates significantly to Cahokia and the red horn story. Red Horn in the form of the Falcon Warrior makes an appearance in Devilstep Hollow cave in Tennessee (see our 360 degree VR video with narration by Dustin Mater here). For anyone who would like more information on the art and significance of Picture Cave we recommend Carol Diaz-Granados...
New Age of the Cerne Abbas Giant Geoglyph
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An article in Sapiens lists the age for the Cerne Abbas Giant geoglyph in Dorset, England. The 180 foot long image is now thought to have been made between AD 700 and AD 1100 -the early medieval period. There are 30 or more chalk geoglyphs in Southern England, no word on their age.
Rochester Rock art Fremont Panel
Rochester Rock art panel vandalized!
The Rochester Rock art panel in Utah has been vandalized
Two acts of vandalism in Moab, Utah
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Two acts of vandalism happened to rock art near Moab last week. Birthing Rock before the vandalism, Image by Alan Cressler Near Moab a climber intentionally bolted through a rock art panel. This has been widely reported on social media and in the outdoor recreation world. The climb is called the Sunshine Slabs. The bolts were removed by other climbers, but the holes that remain and will hasten erosion of the rock art panel. The offender’s defense was that he was trying to make the very easier (5.3) climb even more accessible. It is important to note that even though this happened on public land, it is illegal make permanent changes to the public land without permits. It’s the same as mining for gold or building a road without permits, its illegal. The culprit is known and is presumably being dealt with by the BLM who manages the site. Read...
“Irreplaceable” 1,000-year-old rock art vandalized in Georgia
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The Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia is reporting that the Track Rock Gap rock art site has been vandalized (USA Today). Track Rock Gap is one of 3 heavily engraved soapstone petroglyph sites in the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina. The sites are tied to the Cherokee and Creek nations. The best known of these soapstone sites is Judaculla Rock, seen here as a 3D model. https://sketchfab.com/models/ebfc3ec3eb3947ea92a7abb2d13060cb/embed Judaculla Rock, Jackson County, North Carolina by Ancient Art Archive on Sketchfab All pre contact story written on the landscape are irreplacable. Vandalism at Track Rock Gap is deeply sad. Rescources: Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Track Rock Gap page Judaculla Rock, NC Alan Cressler's photos of Track Rock Gap
Dstretch helps us see faded art
Dstretch, an algorithm adapted from NASA helps us see ancient rock art
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How do we see rock art that is mostly faded away?
The New York Times says we are one of five accounts you should follow on Instagram
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The 36,000 year old Horse Panel of Chauvet This week, New York Times arts critic Martha Schwendener called the Ancient Art Archive one of the 5 instagram accounts that you should follow right now. “…the Ancient Art Archive journeys to caves, mesas, buttes and other sites around the world, documenting the paintings and marks made by our ancient ancestors.” She called out two of our posts in particular, one from Chauvet Cave in France and another from the Maze Panel in Arizona. The Maze Panel in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. It is an honor to be featured in the Times. The explosive growth of our Instagram feed shows what we have long known, people are hungry for these images from the past.
A nearly 1 million year old hominid fossil in Europe
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A recent study of a hominid tooth found in the Atapuerca Mountains of Spain has confirmed through direct dating that the fossilized remains are nearly 1 million years old. The dating estimate is between 750,000 and 950,000 years before present. It is consistent with sediment deposits at the site but represents the first direct date from a hominid that old. The ESR dating and challenges are explained in Phys.org here. The Atapuerca Mountains have continued to yield very interesting clues about the first hominid inhabitants of Europe. While this new discovery confirms previous associated dates it is exciting in that it opens up the possibility that there will be other direct dates from Hominid fossils both in and out of Europe.  
The story of human evolution is written in ochre
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Mixing ochre paint under a tree in Omungunda Namibia. "Smeared on shells, piled in graves, stamped and stenciled on cave walls from South Africa to Australia, Germany to Peru, ochre has been a part of the human story since our very start — and perhaps even earlier. For decades, researchers believed the iron-rich rocks used as pigment at prehistoric sites had symbolic value. But as archaeologists turn up evidence of functional uses for the material, they’re realizing early humans’ relationship with ochre is more complex." read more in Discover Magazine here
New light on human evolution
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New light on human evolution Groundbreaking research puts human evolution in a new perspective as significant archaeological findings reveals sign of modern human behavior 300 000 years ago. "This discovery suggests that the earliest African Homo sapiens populations were already cognitively, socially and technologically complex", says Francesco d’Errico. He is a professor at UiB and Principal Investigator at the Centre for Early Sapiens Behavior (SapienCE). He is also part of the international team behind the remarkable findings in Kenya, and one of the co-authors of the article that has been published in Science, covering these discoveries. Sophisticated early life It is not every day that investigators stumble over findings that can change the understanding of human history, but these particular discoveries may be just one of these great moments. Francesco d’Errico is not denying the fact that these discoveries are significant. Continue Reading on UIB.NO