World’s oldest cave painting is at least 51,200 years old, scientists say

by | Jul 4, 2024 | Science

A cave painting in Indonesia is the oldest such artwork in the world, dating back at least 51,200 years, according to an international team of researchers who say its narrative scene also makes it the world’s oldest known evidence of storytelling in art.While it is unclear exactly what the painting depicts, it most likely shows three small human-bird hybrids surrounding a massive wild pig “which they were probably hunting,” said Renaud Joannes-Boyau, co-author of the study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.It’s that storytelling that has captivated scientists.“That is something new, something very important, something that happened much older than we thought,” said Joannes-Boyau, who is also a professor at Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia.Samples of the painting were taken in 2017 from the Leang Karampuang cave on the island of Sulawesi in eastern Indonesia.But it was not until now that a team of Indonesian and Australian researchers deployed a new dating technique that found the painting was thousands of years older than the previous record holder, which is also located on Sulawesi in another cave about 6 miles away.“Representation of human figures is already extremely rare,” Joannes-Boyau said. “But storytelling of 51,200 years old is even more incredible.”Among the hundreds of caves on Sulawesi are some of the world’s oldest cave paintings. The unique preservation capabilities of the island, which is home to 20 million people, lie in its weather and topography, scientists say.The previous record holder, also a painting of a wild pig depicting a narrative scene, was created at least 45,500 years ago and was found in a cave called Leang Tedongnge.As water flows across the walls of cave …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnA cave painting in Indonesia is the oldest such artwork in the world, dating back at least 51,200 years, according to an international team of researchers who say its narrative scene also makes it the world’s oldest known evidence of storytelling in art.While it is unclear exactly what the painting depicts, it most likely shows three small human-bird hybrids surrounding a massive wild pig “which they were probably hunting,” said Renaud Joannes-Boyau, co-author of the study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.It’s that storytelling that has captivated scientists.“That is something new, something very important, something that happened much older than we thought,” said Joannes-Boyau, who is also a professor at Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia.Samples of the painting were taken in 2017 from the Leang Karampuang cave on the island of Sulawesi in eastern Indonesia.But it was not until now that a team of Indonesian and Australian researchers deployed a new dating technique that found the painting was thousands of years older than the previous record holder, which is also located on Sulawesi in another cave about 6 miles away.“Representation of human figures is already extremely rare,” Joannes-Boyau said. “But storytelling of 51,200 years old is even more incredible.”Among the hundreds of caves on Sulawesi are some of the world’s oldest cave paintings. The unique preservation capabilities of the island, which is home to 20 million people, lie in its weather and topography, scientists say.The previous record holder, also a painting of a wild pig depicting a narrative scene, was created at least 45,500 years ago and was found in a cave called Leang Tedongnge.As water flows across the walls of cave …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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