Have you ever seen the Indonesian Cave Paintings before? Well, nothing is more striking than the blank stone surface to instigate the common urge to make art.
A team of researchers have discovered several hand and animal paintings in 7-limestone caves on the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi, which they believed to be most primitive European Cave Art, as reported in ‘Nature’ journal on Wednesday.
Up till now, the oldest cave painting discovered yet is about 40,800-year-old red disk from El Castillo, in northern Spain.
Moreover, some of the human origins archaeologists stated that, the latest results were fantastic and at the same time unexpected too. Sulawesi’s cave art, which was firstly portrayed in the era of 50s and formerly been, sacked as no more than 10,000 years old.
Nicholas Conard, an archaeologist at the University of Tübingen in Germany stated in his email, “this is really good news, and the only astonishing thing is not that similar findings would be present somewhere else, but rather that it has been so hard to find them till now.”
“The recent findings actually make sense. It supports a primitive exploitation of modern humans eastward to Southeast Asia and Australasia, and so having art of a similar age is logical too,” Eric Delson, a paleoanthropologist at Lehman College of the City University of New York says.
Team of researchers from Australia and Indonesia (authors of new study), used uranium decay method in order to date the substance that covers the wall paintings, a mineral called calcite, formed by water flowing through the limestone in the cave. However, the art beneath is probably older than the crust.
Two lead authors of the study, Maxime Aubert and Adam Brumm at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia inspected 12 metaphors of human hands and two symbolic animal depictions at the cave sites.
The most primitive images, with the age of 39,900 years are believed to be the oldest known stenciled outlines of human hands in the world, researchers claimed.
In addition, a painting of an animal named as pig deer, of the species babirusa was seemed to be of around 35,400 years-old. The researchers said that, this is amongst the earliest dated symbolic depiction worldwide, if not the earliest one.
Another painting of a rhinoceros from Chauvet Cave in France is around 35,000 years old, though some archaeologists have inquired about that estimate.
Certainly, one of the most famous rock art in the Sulawesi region was developed by the Australian Aborigines, modern humans who arrived almost 50,000 years ago. However, not any of the surviving rock art is older than 30,000 years.
Dr. Aubert said in an announcement issued by Griffith University, Sulawesi dates confront the long apprehended view about the origins of cave art in a flare-up of human creativity centered on Western Europe about 40,000 years ago.
Instead, the artistic vividness required developing the realistic portrayals of horses and other animals much later at famous sites such as Chauvet and Lascaux in France might have predominantly deep roots within the human ancestry.
In contrast, Wil Roebroeks, a specialist in human origins studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, wrote “it’s too early to predict the discovery’s deeper implications. Though, rock art was a major part of the cultural range of settling modern humans, from Western Europe to southeast and beyond, or whether such practices developed separately in various regions, is anonymous.”
“I long argued for what I call polycentric mosaic modernity, which actually depicts analogous cultural innovations happening in different contexts with the stretching of contemporary Homo sapiens around the globe and displaced archaic hominins,” Dr. Conard, of Tübingen University stated.
He further stated that, “One would anticipate diverse regions in order to have idiosyncratic signatures and to put in to the story in their own way.”
Additionally, Dr. Delson, of CUNY said, “I would probably favor the idea that art came as part of the ‘baggage’ of Homo sapiens since they spread into Eurasia. As we all know that the most of the cultural features once thought to have developed in western Eurasia in fact occurred far earlier in Africa.”
Dr. Aubert and Dr. Brumm stated in their report, “It is not possible that the rock art appeared separately around the same time and at almost both ends of the spatial distribution of early modern humans. Though, the alternative situation is that the first Homo sapiens broadly practiced cave painting to leave Africa tens of thousands of years earlier.”
If this is true (which Australian-Indonesian team anticipated), then we can forecast future discoveries of human hands depictions, symbolic art and other forms of image-making dating to the earliest period of the worldwide diffusion of our species.”