CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – A patch of wet mud deep in a Tennessee cave in the Cumberland Plateau holds the image of a bird.
The bird image, called a “mud glyph,” is among nearly 100 rock and cave art images carbon-dated between 500 and 6,000 years old that are being cataloged and researched by Jan Simek of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and four others.
The study represents two decades of work.
Simek told The Chattanooga Times Free Press the art appears to reflect the tenets of prehistoric religious beliefs.
The art in question ranges in North America from the Archaic Period, from 8000 B.C. to 1000 B.C., into the late-Mississippian Period, 800 A.D. to 1600 A.D., just after the arrival of Europeans.
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