Saturday, July 13, 2024

The world’s oldest known evidence of storytelling through art

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Today, we are happy to share a ground-breaking discovery – our team has partnered with researchers at Griffith University in Australia to reveal what may be the world’s oldest known evidence of storytelling through art. This discovery was found in a cave on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia.

The painting, located in the limestone cave of Leang Karampuang in the Maros-Pangkep region of South Sulawesi, portrays three human-like figures interacting with a wild pig.

New technology revolutionizing our understanding of the origin of early art

A team of scientists co-led by researchers from Griffith University and Southern Cross University have discovered and dated the cave painting on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, and their findings are published in the journal Nature.

With a minimum age of 51,200 years, the Leang Karampuang cave painting holds the oldest message recorded in the world. To put this date into context, the Pyramids at Giza are dated at 4,500 years old, making this rock art created by our ancestors 46,700 years older. Even the oldest cave art found in Europe isn’t anywhere near as old.

These caves on Sulawesi have revealed the world’s oldest hunting scene, now dated to at least 48,000 years old thanks to a revolutionary dating method using laser ablation acquisition sampling and combined with uranium series analysis.

Collaborating with Google Arts & Culture has enabled us to open a digital window to our common history with the first panoramic images of these caves captured only a few weeks ago. Our collaboration allows people all over the world to access our sites and also makes a substantial contribution to our preservation work.



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