Home / Funny / Viral / Oldest Cave Art In The World Discovered In Indonesia Was Painted Over 50 Thousand Years Ago


It is thought by researchers that a cave on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi contains the oldest known example of figurative rock art. At least 51,200 years ago, three humans and a pig were painted in a cave. This finds places it at least 5,000 years ahead of the previous record, which was an image of a pig found in an island cave. The results have been published in a new study in Nature.

"The picture conveys a nuanced tale. It is the earliest example of storytelling that we can find. It demonstrates that people were capable of abstract thought at the time, according to Griffith University professor Maxime Aubert, who speaks with BBC News from Australia.

In order to date the rock art more precisely, scientists employed new technologies. They thoroughly examined the piece and then dated the material by cutting tiny art samples with a laser. It's interesting to note that the painting on this one panel was done in phases, beginning 51,200 years ago and concluding 18,700 years ago.

According to information provided by Indonesia's National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), a routine rock art expedition in 2017 led to the discovery of the cave, known as Leang Karampuang. Red markings at the cave's entrance were noticed by a Cultural Heritage Guard member, who then dispatched a team to perform a thorough inspection. The abundance of images within the cave was then categorised.

The only known examples of ancient cave art existed in Europe until 2018 when it was found in Borneo. Prehistoric art from the caves in France's Lascaux and Spain's Altamira has long been studied, but compared to what has been found in Sulawesi, those depictions seem positively modern.

Finding representational art this old is exciting because it indicates a shift in our forebears' perspectives. Dr. Henry Gee, senior editor of Nature, says that "something seems to have happened around 50,000 years ago, shortly after which all other species of human, such as Neanderthals and the so-called Hobbit, died out."

"It is more likely that there are even earlier examples of representational art, but it is very romantic to think that something happened in the human brain at that time." If this is the case, we are eager to learn what else has been found.

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