The World’s Oldest Known Cave Painting Has Been Discovered in Indonesia -->

The World’s Oldest Known Cave Painting Has Been Discovered in Indonesia

Scientists from Griffith University have discovered the world’s oldest known cave painting on a limestone wall on South Sulawesi island in Indonesia.
Maxime Auberttime

Dated to a remarkable 45,500 years ago, the painting is of a Sulawesi warty pig, a species hunted and depicted often in Sulawesi cave art from the Last Glacial Period. 

 The discovery definitively knocks out Europe and establishes that the Indo-Pacific is the center of the first-known developments in artistic expression and perhaps even story-telling.
“The cave is in a valley that’s enclosed by steep limestone cliffs and is only accessible by a narrow cave passage in the dry season, as the valley floor is completely flooded in the wet,” said Prof. Adam Brumm, co-leader of the expedition that consisted of researchers from both Indonesia’s highest center for archaeology (ARKENA), and Griffith’s Research Center for Human Evolution. 

  “The isolated Bugis community living in this hidden valley claim it had never before been visited by Westerners.” Measuring 53 inches by 21 inches (136cm by 54cm), the pig is accompanied by two human handprints just above its hindquarters, and a pair of pigs off to the right which are only partially visible. 

  “The pig appears to be observing a fight or social interaction between two other warty pigs,” said Brumm.
That discovery dated to at least 44,000 years ago, and contained images of human-beast hybrids, or ‘therianthropes’ hunting Sulawesi warty pigs together, images which the team believed at the time represented a number of ‘firsts’. 

  “This discovery underlines the remarkable antiquity of Indonesia’s rock art and its great significance for understanding the deep-time history of art and its role in humanity’s early story,” Professor Brumm said. 


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