Convoluted human evolution: 45,000 year old cave art (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 22:31 (10 days ago) @ David Turell

Found in Indonesia:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2264793-worlds-oldest-painting-of-animals-discover...

"Stunning cave paintings discovered in Indonesia include what might be the oldest known depictions of animals on the planet, dating back at least 45,000 years.

"The paintings of three pigs, alongside several hand stencils, were discovered in the limestone cave of Leang Tedongnge on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Even local people were unaware of the cave sites’ existence until their discovery in 2017 by Adam Brumm at Griffith University, Australia, and his team.

“'I was struck dumb,” says Brumm. “It’s one of the most spectacular and well-preserved figurative animal paintings known from the whole region and it just immediately blew me away.”

"Sulawesi is known to contain some of the world’s oldest cave art, but the new paintings may predate all other examples so far discovered on the island.

***

“'It adds to the evidence that the first modern human cave art traditions did not arise in ice age Europe, as long assumed, but at an earlier point in the human journey,” says Brumm.

"Each of the three pigs is more than a metre long. The images were all painted using a red ochre pigment. They appear to be Sulawesi warty pigs (Sus celebensis), a short-legged wild boar that is endemic to the island and is characterised by its distinctive facial warts. “This species was of great importance to early hunter-gatherers in Sulawesi,” says Brumm.

***

"Paul Pettitt at Durham University, UK, agrees that the discovery adds to evidence of human presence in the islands of south-east Asia. Early humans presumably crossed these islands to reach Australia – perhaps as early as 65,000 years ago – after migrating out of Africa.

"But Pettitt says: “Given the insufficient amount of human fossils in the region at this time, we cannot, of course, rule out authorship by another human species, like the Neanderthals [that] were producing non-figurative art in Europe.'”

Comment: Look at the art. It is impressive.


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