A partnership between UT, federal and state agencies, Indian tribes, and other stakeholders to save a set of centuries-old Native American petroglyphs, pictographs, and historic signatures in Alabama has been honored with a prestigious national preservation award. The initiative brought together researchers and local volunteers to camouflage and remove graffiti that had impacted the images at the Painted Bluff site in Marshall County, Alabama.
Jan Simek News
The Weather Channel’s website has a roundup called Hidden America: Amazing Discoveries in Every State that includes a photograph of ancient cave drawings and mentions Jan Simek’s exploration of Tennessee’s caves in the state’s listing, No. 42 of the slides.
Jan Simek has spent decades trekking for miles in complete darkness, contorting his body to fit around rocks, and navigating down muddy and stony slopes. The UT anthropology professor’s work has paid off in the form of big discoveries—and now a big award.
With the start of a new academic year, there are several new and interim department heads across campus.
Jan Simek, distinguished science professor in the Department of Anthropology, was interviewed by WUOT’s Chrissy Keuper for their series, The Method, which explores the intersection of science and society. Simek talked about how archaeologists study some of the oldest cave art in North America. In the series, WUOT’s Brandon Hollingsworth interviewed to researcher Joanne Hall,
The work of anthropology professor Jan Simek has been featured in multiple news outlets, including CNN. Simek and colleagues from the University of the South, the US Geological Survey, and Mississippi State University spent about a decade and a half documenting rock art of the Cumberland Plateau, which slices across Tennessee between Chattanooga and Nashville. They found common themes, colors, and depictions across the ninety-four sites, fifty of them underground.
It is likely some of the most widespread and oldest art in the United States. Pieces of rock art dot the Appalachian Mountains, and research by anthropology professor Jan Simek, president emeritus of the UT system, finds each engraving or drawing is strategically placed to reveal a cosmological puzzle. The research led by Simek, is published in this month’s edition of the journal Antiquity.
Every spring for the past 59 years, hundreds of nature lovers from all over the world have descended upon the Great Smoky Mountains as part of the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. The event, which began with botanists from UT Knoxville, now involves as many as 1,000 participants.
UT President Jan Simek and Chancellor Jimmy Cheek will meet with UT Knoxville staff members from 3 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 6 in the Baker Center’s Toyota Auditorium. This event is part of the President’s statewide tour of campuses and institutes. We hope you will be a part of his visit and take this opportunity to hear more about the university’s strategic initiatives, as well as challenges and opportunities for the future.
Faculty, staff and students have spent this week saying goodbye and thanks to Jan Simek, whose term as interim chancellor of the Knoxville campus ends today. Newly-appointed Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek starts work Monday.