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Wed Nov 7, 2018, 03:10 PM

World's 'oldest figurative painting' discovered in Borneo cave

New analysis suggests the animal drawings are at least 40,000 years old, say scientists

A patchy, weathered painting of a beast daubed on the wall of a limestone cave in Borneo may be the oldest known example of figurative rock art, say researchers who dated the work.

Faded and fractured, the reddish-orange image depicts a plump but slender-legged animal, probably a species of wild cattle that still lives on the island, or simply dinner in the eyes of the artist, if one streak of ochre that resembles a spear protruding from its flank is any guide.

The animal is one of a trio of large creatures that adorn a wall in the Lubang Jeriji Saléh cave in the East Kalimantan province of Indonesian Borneo. The region’s rock art, which amounts to thousands of paintings in limestone caves, has been studied since 1994 when the images were first spotted by the French explorer Luc-Henri Fage.

“It is the oldest figurative cave painting in the world,” said Maxime Aubert, an archaeologist and geochemist at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. “It’s amazing to see that. It’s an intimate window into the past.”


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Reply World's 'oldest figurative painting' discovered in Borneo cave (Original post)
muriel_volestrangler Nov 7 OP
Judi Lynn Nov 8 #1

Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 08:28 PM

1. Have seen hand stencils on walls in articles for years, never knew how they were created

until seeing this article!

Very glad to see the matter put to rest:

Above and between the three beasts are hand stencils, the familiar cave art calling cards of our ancient ancestors. The ghostly markings, which appear singularly or in groups, are made by spraying ochre paint from the mouth over a hand pressed on to the rock.

Thanks for the interesting article.


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