Home Current Affairs World’s oldest cave painting found in the caves of Indonesia

World’s oldest cave painting found in the caves of Indonesia

Recently discovered, the world’s oldest cave painting will help in filling in the gaps in our knowledge of the human civilization and make us understand our history better.

Archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest cave painting, which is a life-size painting of a pig made in Indonesia, that dates back to around 45,000 years ago. This finding provides evidence of the earliest settlement of the region.

Image: YouTube

World’s oldest cave painting discovered

The cave painting was found by a doctoral student named Basran Buran, while he was a part of the team carrying out a survey with the Indonesian authorities.

The cave from which the painting was found is known as The Leang Tedongnge, located in the remote valley surrounded by limestone.

When inquired, the Burgis community told the team that this was their first time seeing the painting.

The cave painting is of a wild Sulawesi warty pig, which is 52cm tall and 136cm wide. This pig has a short crest of straight hair and has horns which indicates that the painting is of an adult male species.

 The painting is done using dark red ochre pigment.

On the top of the painting, there are also hand prints which are facing the pig, but these prints are only partially saved, as a part of the narrative scene.

World’s-oldest-cave-Utkal-Today
Image: NPR

Experts on the world’s oldest cave painting

Adam Brumm, a professor of Archaeology and a former Australian Research Council (ARC) Future fellow said: “The pig appears to be observing a fight or social interaction between two other warty pigs.”

During the ice age, humans particularly hunted Sulawesi pigs and they are a key feature of the region’s prehistoric artwork.

The dating specialists found that the calcite deposit formed on the painting is around 45,000 years old.

However, the painting could be older as we can only identify the age of the calcite formed on the top of it.

The cave paintings help us to understand human civilization more.

It is believed that people reached Australia 65,000 years ago but to reach Australia people had to cross the Walleca island of Indonesia.

This cave painting represents the human settlement of Walleca Island, it is hoped that with further research about the painting, the Australia puzzle could be resolved and we could finally fill the gaps.

Also Read: Ajanta Caves: One of the oldest Unesco World Heritage Sites in India

Image: Pinterest

Experts believe that this painting was done by an extinct species of humans.

And to make hand prints they would have placed their palms on the surface and then spit pigment over it, hence the researchers are expecting to extract the DNA from the residual saliva for further research.

The previous oldest cave painting was found by the same team in Sulawesi.

That painting depicted a group of part-human, part-animal figures hunting mammals. It dated back to 43,900 years.

Written by: Sriparna Das

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