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Dunbar Cave State Natural Area to unveil archaeological finds at new entrance gate dedication

Historic Indian Art discovered in Dunbar Cave partially covered with more modern graffitiClarksville, TN,  State Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke will visit Dunbar Cave State Park and Natural Area on July 29, 2006 at 10 a.m. CDT for a ceremony to help dedicate the new entrance gate at the cave.

The new gate was made possible through a cooperative effort with the Friends of Dunbar Cave and the State Department of Environment and Conservation, and will help protect the significant archaeological finds inside the cave, while also allowing the public access to see the sights firsthand.

Dunbar Cave Entrance Gate Dedication

When: 10 am, Saturday, July 29, 2006
Where: Dunbar Cave State Natural Area
401 Old Dunbar Cave Road
Clarksville , TN 37043
Admission: Free (there may or may not be a small charge for the cave tour afterwards, Please bring a flashlight if you are interested in attending the cave tour)

“At Dunbar Cave, like other state parks and natural areas, we strive to maintain a balance in order to give people the opportunity to experience the significant natural and cultural treasures we have in Tennessee, while continuing to protect these valuable resources,” said Commissioner Fyke. “We appreciate the help and support of the Friends of Dunbar Cave for making this new tool for protection and access possible.”

In addition to the friends group, Representative Kim McMillan and Senator Rosalind Kurita who have long been supporters and advocates for the park, will be speaking.

Thirty-two prehistoric cave drawings and etchings have been discovered inside Dunbar Cave. The first discovery was made January 15, 2005 by Larry E. Matthews, Amy Wallace, Joe Douglas, and Billyfrank Morrison, and authenticated by Dr Jan Simek, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, who has been directly involved in the analysis of this ancient art and will describe the findings as part of the gate dedication ceremony. Cave tours will immediately follow the dedication ceremony. Anyone interested in the cave tour should bring a flashlight.

Cave Art photographed by Debbie Boen
Historic Indian Art discovered in Dunbar Cave partially covered with more modern graffiti

Live Celtic and Bluegrass music will begin at 2 p.m. CDT at the natural area. Dunbar Cave State Park and Natural Area is located in Montgomery County about one-and-a-half miles northeast of Clarksville. The site contains numerous caves and sinkholes, the most prominent being Dunbar Cave.

This 8.1-mile cave has historical, natural, archaeological and geological significance. The park also features hiking trails, fishing, picnic facilities and interpretive programs. For more information visit their Web site at: http://state.tn.us/environment/parks/DunbarCave/ or call (931) 648-5526.

Editors Note: The original article incorrectly attributed the initial discovery to Dr. Jan Simek, and has been updated with accurate information on 09/24/2007

Debbie Boen
Debbie Boen
Debbie and her family moved to Clarksville slightly after the tornado of 1999. Debbie founded the group, Clarksville Freethinkers for Peace and Civil Liberties, in 2004. She participated in Gathering to Save Our Democracy, a group dedicated to obtaining free and verifiable elections in Tennessee. She has supported groups including the NAACP, Nashville Peace Coalition, PFLAG, Friends of Dunbar Cave and the Mountain Top Removal Series of Films and speakers. She participated as an artist in the ARTZ gallery group in Clarksville and won Best of Show, First and 2 Second Place awards for four of her sculptures. She won a voter's choice award for a performance at the Roxy Regional Theatre. She is a wife, mother and cancer survivor. She is always amazed at the capabilities of the human spirit, and the wisdom to find humor when there is none.

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