Archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest known animal cave painting in Indonesia – a wild pig – believed to be drawn 45,500 years ago.
Painted using dark red ochre pigment, the life-sized picture of the Sulawesi warty pig appears to be part of a narrative scene.
The picture was found in a cave in a remote valley on the island of Sulawesi. It provides the earliest evidence of human settlement of the region.
Maxime Aubert, the co-author of the report published in Science Advances journal, said, “The people who made it were fully modern, they were just like us, they had all of the capacity and the tools to do any painting that they liked.”
A dating specialist, Aubert had identified a calcite deposit that had formed on top of the painting, and used Uranium-series isotope dating to determine the age of the deposit.
This makes the artwork at least that old, but he added, “it could be much older because the dating that we’re using only dates the calcite on top of it.”