June 30, 2017 - No Comments!

Atlanta Fundraiser News

The Horse Panel of Chauvet Cave, France

The Horse Panel of Chauvet Cave, France

This week we had a very successful fundraiser hosted by Arts Atlanta (see their article on the archive here). During the event board member, Jan Simek and I gave an overview of how making art became a vital part of the human survival strategy, what the sites look like

and how we are using the newest imaging technologies to preserve the world's oldest images.

"A Generous Donor will match* any contributions to the Archive  given in the next week"

We also revealed exciting new discoveries that we have made working on the Unnamed Caves Initiative. The new finds are spectacular, subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with what we are doing.

Thank you to all who attended. Particular thanks to those who contributed to support our efforts to explore and preserve humanity's oldest stories! A very generous donor has agreed to match any contributions made between now and July 6th. So you can still receive a signed 6x9" print of Ten Negative Handprints for contributions of $100 or more and have your money go twice as far!

Negative handprints in Fish Canyon, Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

Negative handprints in Fish Canyon, Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

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-Stephen Alvarez

 

 

June 23, 2017 - No Comments!

Handprints are the universal symbol for humanity

Ten negative handprints in Fish Canyon, Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

If there is a single symbol that could stand for all of humanity it is the negative handprint. I've seen the negative handprint reproduced on 6 continents and across all ages of human creativity. From the Paleolithic to modern times the images persists in our visual vocabulary. They may well be the very first artistic expression. To me, they are the original 'selfie' the very first way that people recorded their passage. That urge to leave a visual mark that says "I was here" is uniquely human. Read more

June 20, 2017 - No Comments!

Painted Bluff, Marshall County Alabama

 

serpentine painting

Serpentine figure Painted Bluff, Marshall County Alabama circa AD 1400

Painted Bluff is one of the most significant open air rock art sites in the Southeastern United States. It's red ochre paintings occupy a towering, 400-foot high limestone bluff with commanding views of the Tennessee River. For centuries the site has acted as a beacon drawing prehistoric and historic travels along the Tennessee River corridor. Although often marred by spalling and historic graffiti, the site contains over 80 individual images.

"Painted Bluff Towers of the Tennessee River"

One of the most impressive is a long serpentine red ochre painting that overlays a previous and very faded circle. On top of both the circle and the serpentine figure is a clear human form.

Carbon 14 analysis of a river cane torch recovered from the bluff yields an approximate date of AD 1400 and the assumption is that most of the older painting come from that era. However, the bluff is a conspicuous stopping point and passageway along the river corridor. Painting and drawing clearly continue into modern times.  Read more

June 9, 2017 - 1 comment.

Dating Rock Art, How Old Is It?

Artists who created the ancient masterpieces that we appreciate today—cave paintings, murals on cliff walls, countless carvings, and other artifacts—left no written records about the worlds in which they lived. This often makes it difficult to know when they lived. Fortunately, modern technology has helped scientists develop several dating methods to accurately date ancient art sites.

Scientists used carbon 14 dating to determine that the charcoal used at Chauvet was over 30,000 years old

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May 29, 2017 - No Comments!

Bears Ears Images

Petroglyphs in Comb Wash. Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

Utah's Bears Ears National Monument is a national treasure. Besides the area's fantastic natural beauty the Monument contains over 100,000 archeological sites. Many of you generously supported a scouting trip to the Bears Ears this spring. The images are now online here. Read more

May 29, 2017 - No Comments!

The oldest site in North America

The road to 5 Mile Point and the Paisley Caves, Lake County Oregon.
NRHP Reference #14000708

It is as true in the Northern Great Basin as it is with anywhere else on the planet.

Art marks our progress across the world. As we expanded out of Africa more than 55,000 years ago and spread across the globe we left our mark in each new landscape we encountered.

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May 9, 2017 - No Comments!

Nampaweap Petroglyph Site Grand Canyon-Parashant Nat’l Monument, Mojave County Arizona

Mojave County Arizona Petroglyph site
by Ancient Art Archive
on Sketchfab

Nampaweap Petroglyph Site Grand Canyon-Parashant Nat’l Monument, Mojave County Arizona

Recorded October 2016

Nampaweap is a very large petroglyph site in the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. Hundreds of individual petroglyphs cover the face of a lava flow at the head of Nampaweap canyon. The canyon is a natural coridor from the Colorado River to the Ponderosa pine forest on Mt Trumbull and the wetland around Nixon Spring.

Additional information from the NPS is here.

April 25, 2017 - No Comments!

Engraved Cave Floor, Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

Fish Mouth Canyon, Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

There are Basketmaker engravings on the floor of this cave in Comb Wash in the new Bears Ears National Monument. The engravings themselves are pretty spectacular. Deer, anthropomorphs, animal tracks, foot prints all rendered in that peculiar basketmaker style. The location and the carvings are incredible and they speak to a very different time in this part of Utah.
Basketmaker engravings on the floor of a cave in Fish Mouth Canyon, Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

Check out the 3D models (after the break) to get an idea of the density and complexity of the art on this cave floor.

Read more