- What is ESSO Grotto?
- What is the NSS? What does it do?
- What is the ESSO Bee?
- What is a CAVE?
- WHAT? Caves have Social Importance?
ESSO Grotto is the Eastern States Speleological Organization. ESSO is the regional chapter of the NSS (National Speleological Society) and is one of the most active caving organizations in the nation. ESSO represents the NSS in the tri-state area of Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio. Our grotto is one of over 200 local chapters, or grottos, located around the country, represent the bulk of the internal organizations of the Society. Grottos usually conduct regular meetings and serve to bring cavers together within their general areas and coordinate activities. Many grottos publish a newsletter as a regular part of their programs such as ours, the ESSO Bee. In other words…
ESSO = Uniting force, bringing cavers together in a safe, organized manner.
The National Speleological Society (NSS)! With over 12,000 members and 200 grottos, the National Speleological Society does more than any other organization to study, explore, and conserve cave and karst resources; protect access to caves; encourage responsible management of caves and their unique environments; and promote responsible caving. Today is the perfect day to become a member of the NSS and join the ESSO Grotto.
A cave is a natural underground void large enough for an adult human to enter. Some scientists stipulate that it must be large enough that some portion of it will not receive daylight; however, in popular usage, the term includes smaller spaces like cliff cavities, rock shelters and sea caves. Speleology is the scientific exploration and study of all aspects of caves. The act of exploring a cave for recreation is called ‘caving’.
Throughout history, primitive peoples have made use of caves for shelter, burial, or as religious sites. Since items placed in caves are protected from the climate and scavanging animals, this means caves are an archaeological treasure house for learning about these people. Cave painting are of particular interest. One example is the Great Cave of Niah, which contains evidence of human habitation dating back 40,000 years.
Caves are also important for geological research because they can reveal details of past climactic conditions in speleothems and sediment layers.