According to a new research, an Indonesian cave painting that depicts a prehistoric mythological hunting scene could be the world’s oldest artwork, dating back to a massive 44,000 years.
The artwork, which is not in a very good condition, was found in the Sulawesi island of Indonesia. It is a panel that is around 4.5 metres long and features reddish-brown forms that depict mythical human-like figures hunting local animals with spears and ropes. Also seen in the art are wild pigs that are found in the Sulawesi region, along with a species of small-bodied buffalo called anoa.
Along with these animals appear human figures that appear to have animal features such as tails and snouts.
The team of researchers at Australia’s Griffith University have, using dating technology, has confirmed the painting to be of the Upper Paleolithic period dating back to 43,900 years.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before. I mean, we’ve seen hundreds of rock art sites in this region, but we’ve never seen anything like a hunting scene,” says Adam Brumm, an archaeologist at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, whose team describes the finding in Nature.
It had long been thought that cave art originated from Europe. Also, the rock art discovered in European sites were dated at around 14,000 to 21,000 years old and were believed to be the oldest existing cave artworks. However, painting from Indonesia have cast doubt on that theory.
Isn’t this fascinating? What do you think about this ancient painting? Do share your views in the comments section below.