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Archaeologists in Alabama have discovered the longest known painting created by early Indigenous Americans, a new study finds. Indigenous Americans crafted this 1,000-year-old record-breaking image — of a 10-foot-long (3 meters) rattlesnake — as well as other paintings, out of mud on the walls and ceiling of a cave, likely to depict spirits of the underworld, the researchers said.

The cave has hundreds of cave paintings and is considered the richest place for Native American cave art in the American Southeast, the researchers said. To investigate its historic art, the team turned to photogrammetry, a technique that involves taking hundreds of digital images in order to build a virtual 3D model. Using this method, the researchers spotted five previously unknown giant cave paintings, known as glyphs. 

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