Saving a Kentucky Time Capsule
This video takes the viewer underground into Crumps Cave in southwestern Kentucky, where cavers and archaeologists are working together to build the second longest cave gate in the world. They are building the gate to protect rare prehistoric mud glyphs (pictures drawn in one of the cave's passages, nearly a mile underground), prehistoric trash in the mouth or vestibule of the cave, and two bat species.
Archaeologists Valerie Haskins of the Kentucky Heritage Council and Dan Davis of the University of Kentucky discuss the significance of the glyphs, their age, and why prehistoric native peoples drew them. Many of the glyphs are pictured, then line drawings are overlaid on the pictures to enhance the glyph designs.
Landowner Bill Mahronic describes the ongoing preservation problem at Crumps Cave - where modern vandals have drawn their initials across some of the prehistoric mud glyphs and where looters destroyed 10,000 years of prehistory in the cave vestibule - and why the gate had to be built. The importance of the preservation effort at Crumps Cave is discussed by David Morgan, Director of the Kentucky Heritage Council, and the need to protect and preserve this prehistoric "Rembrant" is echoed by David Foster, of the American Cave Conservation Association.
Other interesting images in the video include historic graffiti on the cave walls and shots of the volunteers constructing the gate and conducting salvage archaeological research in the cave vestibule.