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17 November 2018


Oldest known drawing found in remote Indonesian cave

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Scientists have found the oldest known example of an animal drawing: a red silhouette of a bull-like beast on the wall of a remote Indonesian cave.

Axar.az reports citing DS that the sketch is at least 40,000 years old, slightly older than similar animal paintings found in famous caves in France and Spain. Until a few years ago, experts believed Europe was where our ancestors started drawing animals and other figures.

But the age of the drawing reported Wednesday in the journal Nature, along with previous discoveries in Southeast Asia, suggest that figurative drawing appeared in both continents about the same time.

The new findings fuel discussions about whether historical or evolutionary events prompted this near-simultaneous "burst of human creativity," said lead author Maxime Aubert, an archaeologist and geochemist at Griffith University in Australia.

The remote limestones caves on Borneo have been known to contain prehistoric drawings since the 1990s. To reach them, Aubert and his team used machetes to hack through thick jungle in a verdant corner of the island.

Around 14,000 years ago, the cave-dwellers began to regularly sketch human figures doing things like dancing and hunting, often wearing large headdresses. A similar transition in rock art subjects happened in the caves of Europe.

The island of Borneo was still connected to mainland Southeast Asia when the first figurative drawings were made about 40,000 years ago — which is also about the time that the first modern humans arrived in Europe. The earliest drawings of animals in the French cave of Chauvet have been dated to about 33,500 to 37,000 years ago.

Date
2018.11.08 / 12:24
Author
Axar.az
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