The The oldest figurative cave painting in the world It is a picture of a warty pig Painted 45,500 years ago. It was discovered in a cave on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi By a group of Australian and Indonesian archaeologists
“As far as we know, the Sulawesi Pig painting we found In Leang Tedongnge limestone cave Adam Brum, one of the leaders of the scientific team at Griffith University and the Indonesian Archaeological Research Center, Arkinas, said in a statement: It is currently the oldest symbolic artwork in the world.
So far, the world’s oldest figurative cave painting was discovered in 2020 on the same island as an abstract hunting scene 43,900 years ago. It has also been found by Brumm’s team and has the idiosyncrasy of representing abstract creatures combining human and animal characteristics, known as “Therianthropes”, which hunt large mammals with spears and ropes. According to the expert, this may be the oldest evidence of a person’s ability to imagine “the existence of supernatural beings, the cornerstone of religious experience.”
The now discovered painting Hidden in one of the inner walls of the cave Leang Tedongnge, located in a valley surrounded by steep limestone cliffs in southern Sulawesi Island. It is the place that It can only be reached during the dry season Through a small passage that remains submerged during the rainy season.
Locals, from the Bugis ethnic group, asserted that apart from them, no one else entered the cave until this team of archaeologists arrived in 2017.
Warty Boar, Inspiration in the Ice Age
it’s a A pig is endemic to an Indonesian island It appears in representation with a red crest of erect hair and a pair of facial warts in front of the eyes, which is characteristic of adult specimens.
Broom, an archaeologist at Griffith University in Australia, noted that “Coated with red ocher dye, It appears that the pig is observing a fight or social interaction between other warty pigs. ”The study by the team of researchers he leads was published in the scientific journal Science Advances.
these Warty pigs were represented thousands of years ago by the ancient inhabitants of the areaEspecially during the Ice Age. The archaeologist interpreted this to indicate that it was not only a source of food, but also of artistic expression.
How was the age of the plate determined
To determine the age of the Leang Tedongnge rock plate, scientists relied on Measurement of the radioactive decay of uranium from gaseous calcium deposits Formed on the surface of the rocky “canvas” used to form this pig.
Another explained, “In Leag Tedongnge, a kind of rocky ‘popcorn’ was formed behind one of the legs of the pig image after it was painted, which allowed us to determine the minimum age of the plate.” The team leaders, Maxime Ober, are from Griffith University.
Wallacea hides more secrets
Plus a picture of this 45,500-year-old pig, scientists Another similar painting dating back 32,000 years was discovered in a nearby cave, Which adds up to the age of 43,900, which is by far the largest.
The cave paintings of Sulawesi are among the earliest evidence of modern humans on the oceanic islands between Asia and Australia – New Guinea, an area known as “Wallasia”.
“Our species must have crossed Wallia in boats to reach Australia about 65,000 years ago,” said Aubert, indicating that future work may show archaeological evidence from that time or even earlier.