Ancient Art Archive

Ancientartarchive.org a non profit founded by @salvarezphoto. We explore and preserve humanity's oldest stories. Join our mailing list:


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Cherokee Syllabary I Manatou cave, Alabama The Cherokee were the only Native American tribe to have a written language. Some of the first examples of it were found in Manatou cave, Alabama. @ancientartarchive board member Jan Simek has published a paper on the writing in the April edition of Antiquity. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antiquity #cherokee #cave #syllabary

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Heading back to Rapa Nui in just a few days. The island is magical and the artwork represents the final punctuation on the long story of human exploration. #rapanui

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Buckhorn Wash, Utah Barrier Canyon Style Pictographs over look the San Rafael River in Emery County, Utah. A sweeping conservation bill passed by both the House and Senate designates nearly a quarter of Emery County as wilderness. The lands include artworks like these on the San Rafael Swell. This part of central Utah is one of the wildest parts of the American West and wilderness designation will help keep it that way. #utah

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A mud glyph owl from the appropriately named Mud Glyph Cave in East Tennessee. When the cave was rediscovered in the early 1980s it was a sensation in the archeological world. Previously underground art had mostly been known from the paleolithic caves of Europe. Mud glyph spawned a National Geographic story and a book. Since its discovery hundreds of other decorated caves have been identified in North America. #cave #owl #ancientartarchive

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14,000 years ago paleolithic people painted these beautiful horses in Tito Bustillo cave, Spain. Thanks @shonephoto for the help photographing these tremendous artworks. Video by @salvarezphoto

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Blombos Cave, South Africa Art may well have started here. The first evidence of paint making comes from this cave on the Southern Coast of Africa. 100,000 to 130,000 years ago people who lived in this cave began manufacturing paint in huge quantities. By 77,000 years ago they were engraving objects. Hats off to Christopher Henshilwood who has led the excavations here. He and his team have proven that human creativity originates in Africa. #cave #southafrica

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Bighorn sheep and mule deer depicted in a Basin and Range petroglyph panel. #nevada

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Chauvet Cave, France The 36,000-year-old paintings in Chauvet are incredible. It is not just their state of preservation, it is that they record a lost world. Bison, Aurochs, Lions and, Rhinoceros are all recorded on the cave's walls. Caves often act as time capsules preserving what things were like in the past. In the case of Chauvet we have an evocative record of what long-extinct animals looked like recorded by attentive artists. There is one detail that sometimes gets overlooked about this cave. The wall is covered by scratch marks from cave bears (Ursus spelaeus). These huge bears hibernated in caves and presumably left the scratch marks while stretching when they wokeup. Seeing the paintings in Chauvet was a profound experience and led me to create the non-profit @ancientartarchive. We use 3D and VR technology to share the experience of standing in front of ancient artworks.

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The lion panel of Chauvet is 36,000 years old. At the Ancient Art Archive we use 3D/VR technology to bring sites like this to life. Follow the link in our profile to join the archive and the links in today's story to join or add yourself to the mailing list. #Chauvet #ancientartarchive

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A procession of human like figures stream above large deer engraved on a canyon wall in the Bears Ears National Monument. I had climbed up to this beautiful petroglyph panel to shoot a time lapse as the milky way rose behind it, but as dawn broke this morning I realized this might be the better photograph. I’m in the west working on an @insidenatgeo and @ancientartarchive project to look at rock art in Western National Monuments. #BearsEars #visitwithrespect

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The Milky Way wheels over the winter Utah sky. There are 179 small human like figures in this San Juan County rock art panel. There are also two deer represented in unusually realistic style. The panel marks a shift in the lives of Pre-columbian Puebloan communities when individual ceremonies gave way to group events. There is tremendous history recorded in Americas public lands. The panel is thought to be circa 1300 BCE. #visitwithrespect

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Barrier Canyon Style pictographs on Utahs San Rafael Swell. BCS pictographs likely come from the late archaic period of South Western archeology (1500-4000 BP). They are often large scale anthropomorphic figures painted on canyon walls.

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