A 1,000-year-old Native American mysterious giant humanoid sculpture found on the ceiling of a cave in Alabama


The collage shows the etching of the ceiling and an illustration highlighting the glyphs created by the etching.

One study discovered a giant human-like figure carved into the ceiling by Native Americans over 1000 years ago.Stephen Alvarez / Jan F. Simek

  • One study discovered a large humanoid carved on the ceiling of a cave in Alabama over 1000 years ago.

  • The numbers can represent the existence of a supernatural world whose name has been lost.

  • Seeing them in a low-ceilinged cave required high-tech skills.

Scientific research has discovered a giant, haunted figure carved into the ceiling of an Alabama cave over 1,000 years ago.

Three of them are humanoid figures, one of the largest ever discovered in North America.Some studies are longer than 6 feet for each study that presents findings. Published in Peer Review Journal Antiquity on Tuesday..

Unique carvings in the soft mud of the cave ceiling, known as glyphs, may provide clues to this indigenous tradition in the southeastern United States, the study authors say.

“We know that Native Americans in a very large area have a particular idea of ​​the religious concepts they share. They believe in a layered universe,” archaeologist Jansimek said. Said.

“They believed that these spiritual worlds that permeate the natural world were around them, even if you couldn’t see them,” he said.

This anthropomorphic regalia (5.9 feet high) makes him appear to rattle.

This anthropomorphic regalia (5.9 feet high) makes it look like he has a rattle in his hand.Stephen Alvarez / J.Simek

An invisible person revealed by a few months of dilute work

This project has been created for decades for the authors of the papers of archaeologist Jan Simek and photographers Alvarez and Alan Cresler.

Nonetheless, they were unable to document the artwork due to simple and technically challenging barriers: the ceiling of the cave is so close to the floor that it is not possible to take good pictures of the sculpture. It was impossible.

Alvarez was the first photographer to record glyphs on a national geography mission in 1999. “The image was very faint!” He told the insider.

“I feel like there’s a story left to me,” Alvarez said. “That was the motivation for doing all the work.”

Alvarez stands in a room in an unnamed cave 19.

The photo shows one of the cave research authorsAlan Cressler / Stephen Alvarez / Jan Zimek

Finally, high-tech 3D photogrammetry is the key to capturing glyphs. You can draw an accurate 3D model of an object by reading the slight changes in light between two images that are a few inches apart.

Capturing more than 16,000 photos, which overlap very slightly to depict the entire cave ceiling, was still a tough month of work.

“It took years for my knees to recover. I knelt down for hours, hours, days, days, days,” Alvarez said.

Finally, the cave floor could be lowered digitally, and they first glimpsed a giant humanoid glyph.

Decipher an ancient story for the first time in thousands of years

According to Simek, this glyph represents what archaeologists call a humanoid, a person wearing a costume or mask, or someone who can represent a humanoid spirit.

According to Simek, these characters are deeply rooted in the culture of the people who live near the cave, and it seems that they can understand who they are by looking at only some of them.

Anthropomorphic regalia (6.8 feet high) from the 19th unnamed cave in Alabama (photo by S. Alvarez; illustration by J. Simek).

Anthropomorphic regalia (6.8 feet high) from the 19th unnamed cave in Alabama.Stephen Alvarez / J.Simek

The painting style of Alabama Cave is reminiscent of the figures found in the Midwest and West of the United States. They are very large, with square shoulders, ghostly stuff, hats and elaborate clothing, facing the viewer directly. It suggests that, according to research, these numbers represent the inhabitants of a supernatural world.

An example of a similar humanoid morphology can be found in Barrier Canyon, Utah.

Canyonlands National Park, Utah, Horseshoe Canyon Unit, Great Gallery, Barrier Canyon Style Rock Art

Canyonlands National Park, Utah, Horseshoe Canyon Unit, Great Gallery, Barrier Canyon Style Rock ArtJohn Elk III / Getty Images

However, the author of the study was unable to associate the Alabama character with the recognizable characters recorded in the Native American Southeastern story.

“They clearly represent a character or set of characters we’ve never seen before,” Simek said.

Philip Kerr, a professor of Native American Studies and Anthropology at the University of South Alabama who was not involved in the study, complemented this work.

“The work of such an archaeological team gives us a glimpse of past ideologies, which makes us want to know more,” he told insiders.

“Are these numbers related to the underworld? If so, what was the relationship of those who attracted them to their beings in the underworld?”

An undefined figure of swirling lines, with a round head on one end and a rattlesnake tail on the other end (7 feet wide).

An undefined figure of swirling lines, with a round head on one end and a rattlesnake tail on the other end (7 feet wide).Stephen Alvarez, Jan Zimek

Rediscover the old and let the new know

Little is known about the people who would have lived around the cave 1,000 and 1,500 years ago, the so-called Middlewood Land Phase.

“I don’t have the kind of artwork I have for later periods,” says Simek. “We know the archaeological context, but it’s still relatively difficult to find it on this date,” he said.

According to Simek, these findings relate to the current Native American community, which sees these traditions as part of their heritage.

A snake with a round head and diamond-shaped body markings from the 19th unknown cave in Alabama. Note that the base of the engraved glyph is bonded to a natural crack in the ceiling limestone (3.3 m long).

The appearance of a snake.Stephen Alvarez, Jan Zimek

“Their descendants are the indigenous peoples of the southeast who were in the area when the Europeans arrived: the Cherokee, the Creek, the Muscogee, the Choctaw, and the Chickasaw,” he said.

“These people and their culture live vibrantly. Europeans have forced them from the southeast to Oklahoma, to reservations that are not their hometown, but they are still their connections. I maintain my sex, “he said.

“Archaeology is not always about the dead,” Simek said.

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