On February 15, 6:30 p.m. at the Dunbar Cave Visitor Center The Friends of Dunbar Cave is proud to present Dr. Jan Simek who will be speaking about new discoveries and insights that continue to be made at the Dunbar Cave State Natural Area. Dr. Simek will provide the audience with an up to the minute recap of what is known so far about the ancient human history inside and around Dunbar Cave.
Video Courtesy of Fox 17 News
Admission is free, refreshments will be served, and the public is welcome. The presentation will begin promptly at 6:30 PM. and will last approximately 60 minutes. Questions and answers will follow.
This event is sponsored by Friends of Dunbar Cave. The regularly scheduled Friends of Dunbar cave meeting will begin place at 6:00pm. New Members are always welcome!
Dunbar Cave is located at 401 Old Dunbar Cave Road, on the intersection with Dunbar Cave Road. The event will be held in the visitor’s center. Parking is free.
For more information about this event or the speaker contact:
931 920 5390
For directions to the meeting location contact
931 648 5526
Dr. Jan F. Simek
The following biography of Dr. Simek was found on the UT Knoxville web site.
Dr. Jan Simek is UT’s own modern-day Renaissance man. A professor of anthropology with research specialties in human evolution and cave archaeology, Simek is also interim director of the School of Art. This is a better fit than one might imagine, as he is a leading expert on prehistoric cave art in the Southeastern United States.
Recently his research was featured on the Nova program Neanderthals on Trial, which aired on PBS channels across the country. Simek has studied these prehistoric cousins of Homo sapiens in the southwest of France for almost two decades, and his conclusions about the cave dwellers don’t support the popular notion that they were dim-witted brutes with primitive social skills. In fact, in digs in the Dordogne region of France, Simek has uncovered evidence that the differences between Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons, the direct ancestors of modern humans, may have been quite small.
Students often accompany him on research projects. In conjunction with the University of Bordeaux, an excavation has been under way in a large cave in the Perigord region of southern France since 1984, and undergraduate and graduate students from UT make up an important part of the international field crews there.
The Cave Archaeology Research Team (CART), formed in 1996 under Simek’s direction, identifies and documents area caves exhibiting evidence of dark-zone exploitation by prehistoric peoples, including the production of dark-zone cave art, chert and mineral mining, habitation, exploration, and other uses. Over the past two years, CART members have identified and begun to document numerous new dark-zone cave art sites in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and West Virginia.
Recipient of UT’s 2002 Extraordinary Community Service Award, Simek shares his knowledge and research on prehistoric cave art through a wide range of outreach activities locally. He has been a speaker at the Pre-Game Showcase Lecture Series and has made presentations at alumni chapter meetings, Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, and Ossoli Circle as well as at retirement centers, historical societies, and schools throughout Knox County. He has nurtured a culture of public service among the faculty in his department and continued his own volunteer activities while balancing administrative, teaching and research responsibilities.
Simek also received UT’s 2001 Research and Creative Achievement Award for his research on the caves of southern France and prehistoric cave sites here in East Tennessee. He is internationally known for his work on the origins and evolution of human cultural behavior.
Simek has published in such journals as American Antiquity, Journal of Human Evolution, Southeastern Archaeology, Journal of Field Archaeology, and Antiquity.
(FODC Member’s note: Our business meeting will begin at 6:00 PM as usual, then we will join the presentation at 6:30.)