By Kayeleigh Sharp (SIUC) and Mark Wagner (SIUC)
Millstone Bluff is a blufftop Mississippian-era (AD 1250-1500) site in southern Illinois that contains three rock art panels containing religious images that link together to form a cosmogram that expresses the Mississippian villagers’ belief in a three-tiered universe (Upper World, This World, and Under World). The eastern panel contains only Upper World images (birds), the western panel contains only Under World images (snakes and serpent-like monsters), and the central panel contains a combination of Upper and Under World images.
The central panel is terribly eroded and the images are indistinct. In 2018 Kayeleigh Sharp used photogrammetry to construct a 3-D model of this panel that can be manipulated on-screen to view the images from different angles to bring out the eroded images. Watch for the central male figure which slowly comes into view as the lichen covering the rock is digitally removed.
The video above shows a 3-D image that turns and moves on screen so you can view the rock art panel from different angles.