The oldest known animal paintings in the world are hairy, warty 45-500 year old depictions. Pig A new study was found on the wall of a cave in Indonesia.
Mulberry-colored painting drawn with red minerals LoessShows a profile of what appears to be a sulawesi wart pig (Sus celebensis), A wild, chunky-legged beast with facial warts, weighing approximately 190 pounds (85 kilograms). “The numbers are declining, but they are still found there,” said Adam Blum, a research co-principal professor of archeology at the Australian Center for Human Evolution Research at Griffith University.
This discovery provides more evidence that ancient Indonesia was a hotspot for rock art and that “the first rock art tradition probably did not occur in ice age Europe as long thought.” ..
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In December 2017, Brumm and his colleagues found at least three wart pig paintings on the Leang Tedongnge Cave in Sulawesi, an Indonesian island slightly larger than Florida. The cave was located in a small valley inhabited by Buginese farmers, now an enthusiastic group of Indonesia. “There is no way to this valley. Getting there from the adjacent lowlands requires difficult trekking along a forest path leading to a limestone hill and ending with a narrow cave passage. This is the only way to the valley. It’s the entrance, “Brum said. ..
So, despite the fact that the valley is close to the big city of Makassar, “according to the people who live in this valley, Westerners have never set foot in the place,” said an international team from Australia and Indonesia. Blum, who cooperated, said.The study was published online in the journal on Wednesday (January 13). Science Advances..
Of the few paintings of pigs in a limestone cave, the best-preserved one is the oldest. It shows a large pig about 4.5 x 1.8 feet (136 x 54 centimeters), with the contours of two human hands on its butt. Hairy little-tailed poker faces a few other pigs that are poorly preserved and appear to have some social interaction with the giant pig.
In a nearby cave called Leang Balangajia 1, the team found a larger painted pig on the ceiling. It measures approximately 6.1 x 3.6 feet (187 x 110 cm) and has four stencil hands. There are at least two other animal paintings in the cave room, but the researchers said they were too damaged to decipher. Some anatomical clues suggest that the rock paintings in both caves depict adult bulls. For example, an impressive facial wart is depicted, with adult males being larger than females.
So why was pig a popular subject for cave artists?
The Sulawesi wild boar is unique to the island and evolved in isolation hundreds of thousands of years ago, Blum said. Archaeological evidence even suggests that humans hunted and tamed these pigs. “So it seems clear that early humans interacted closely with this pig at various levels for a very long time,” Blum said. “In fact, Sulawesi’s Ice Age artists seem to be obsessed with almost warty pigs, which is probably not surprising given their economic importance.”
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Previously, there is the oldest famous rock art depicting animals that are Sulawesi wart pigs found in another cave on the island. Dated at least 43,900 years ago, According to a 2019 study published in the journal NatureIt was also discovered by Brumm and colleagues, including Griffith University archaeologist and geochemist Maxime Aubert. On the other hand, the oldest known human painting (of any kind) is a 73,000-year-old hashtag on a rock fragment in South Africa. Live Science previously reported..
To date the newly discovered rock art, the team sampled some calcite minerals that “grown” on the pig after it was painted.Researchers did this using uranium-Series dating, a method of measuring radioactive decay of uranium. When rainwater infiltrates through a limestone cave, a small amount of uranium dissolves and breaks down into elements over time. thorium.. By measuring the ratio of uranium to thorium in each mineral sample, scientists determined when the mineral began to grow on the painting.
This technique reveals that Leang Tedongnge wart pigs are at least 45,500 years old and Leang Balangajia 1 ceiling pigs are at least 32,000 years old. In addition to being the oldest known rock art painting of animals, the Leang Tedongnge pig is “the earliest known representational work of art in the world”, assuming modern humans are in Sulawesi. , Probably the earliest evidence of modern humans. (And not a closely related human relative like Denisovan) The researchers, who drew pigs, wrote in their studies.
However, researchers had many technical difficulties with uranium-thorium dating, which roughly estimate the date, says David, an associate professor at the Rock Art Institute at the University of the Witwatersland in the south.・ Pierce said. Africa that was not involved in research. “It’s important to remember that they are of relative age … not the direct date of the painting itself,” Pierce told Live Science in an email.
The issue of dating was also pointed out by João Zilhão, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies of Catalonia (ICREA) at the University of Barcelona, but was not involved in this study. But “what this treatise does supports their previous discovery that rock paintings were made in Indonesia more than 43,900 years ago,” he told Live Science.
Originally published in Live Science.
Worty Pig is the oldest animal cave painting on record
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