Archaeologists have discovered the oldest ancient rock painting in the world to depict an animal, in a cave in Indonesia. They estimate that it was painted over 45,000 years ago.
The painting was found in the cave Leang Tedongnge, on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. On the walls, a pig was drawn with dark red mineral pigments, the actual size of the animal.
The discovery was published in the journal Science Advances. “The people who did it were totally modern, they were like us, they had all the capacity and the tools to make any painting they liked”, reveals Maxime Aubert, co-author of the publication.
Based on the isotopic analysis of calcite, a mineral that was formed on top of the painting, experts estimated that it is 45,000 years old. However, they warn that the work of art may still be older, since they are only analyzing a superficial sample of the mineral.
The rock painting measures 136 centimeters by 54 centimeters and is a pig with horns, which refers to an adult male, according to the released report. It is believed that the animal would be facing two other pigs, which may have been painted with different pigments and with an interval of time. Only small parts of the body have been preserved. “The pig seems to be watching a fight or a social interaction between two other pigs,” says co-author Adam Brumm.
Source: Science Advances