Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Land Deal Protects Cave with Ancient Drawings

Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation buys 385-acre site south of Crossville

By ANNE PAINE Staff Writer The Tennessean (link)

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. — The green, 385-acre Devilstep Hollow has guarded a secret since prehistoric times. A cave lies underground with bird-man creatures and other mysterious images carved into the limestone or painted on the walls.

This is one of only about 60 cave art sites documented in the Southeast, and 48 in Tennessee, according to Jan Simek, distinguished professor of science and interim chancellor of the University of Tennessee.

The Devilstep cave art should survive modern times because the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation has acquired the land, and the state is buying it at cost, about $2.1 million, including surveying and fees. This will protect the natural area and spring that helps form the Sequatchie River, but the cave is its most unusual feature.

My Comment: Last summer I spent a weekend at Devilstep hollow. The site being protected is a beautiful lush green valley and the mouth of a cold mountain stream flowing out of a cave. The site is surrounded by beautiful mountains. Thanks to the work of the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation this archaeological treasure and this beautiful spot of God's good earth is being protected for future generations. Kathleen Williams, the Executive Director of the foundation is my sister. I am proud of the work she is doing to protect the waterfalls, wilderness, and scenic vistas of Tennessee.

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