Painted Bluff is one of Alabama’s most special places. Dating from the Mississippian Period (c. 1400), the six-hundred-year-old site contains more than eighty individual glyphs located along two separate bluff s overlooking the Tennessee River. These red, yellow, and orange symbolic images include people, ovals, circles, snakes, birds, and other animals. Open air rock art sites of this type are unique to the Southeast, and Painted Bluff represents one of the most significant in the region.
Because these paintings are outside, there are many dangers to their survival. Few of the outdoor painted bluffs remain in Alabama because of the humid environment. Nature is slowly wearing down the paint, posing a long-term threat. Modern graffiti and rock climbers create more immediate concerns. The Tennessee Valley Authority manages the area with these irreplaceable art works. They are researching ways to maintain the images and carvings for the future.
4/12/2019 12:51:51 pm
9/5/2021 12:51:07 pm
Can anyone visit this? If so how do you get to it. Is it only by water
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Alabama's Endangered Historic Landmarks
Each year since 1994, Alabama Heritage has highlighted threatened historic sites throughout Alabama. The “Places in Peril” list has identified more than 215 imperiled historic resources throughout the state, and is compiled by the Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. The locations highlight the results of deferred maintenance, perceived obsolescence, development pressures, and lack of funding—forces that now more than ever threaten our cultural legacy. But awareness is a powerful force, too, and can cultivate a renewed determination to be responsible stewards of our heritage. For more information, visit the AHC or the ATHP websites. Alabama Heritage is proud to bring to you a selection of the places designated as perilous. Please keep your comments to information relevant to the featured place in peril. Alabama Heritage reserves the right to delete any comment that we deem inappropriate.