Discovery of the World’s Oldest Cave Painting

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Source- This post on the Discovery of the World’s Oldest Cave Painting has been created based on the article “World’s oldest cave painting was created at least 51,000 years ago” published in “The Hindu” on 9 July 2024.

Why in the news?

Recently, researchers have found the cave painting in Indonesia which is the world’s oldest known evidence of storytelling in art.

Discovery of the World’s Oldest Cave Painting

World's oldest cave painting
Source: TH

1. The world’s oldest-known cave painting has been discovered in the limestone cave of Leang Karampuang, located in the Maros-Pangkep region of Sulawesi, Indonesia.

2. This artwork depicts three human-like figures interacting with a wild pig. The painting features a pig measuring 92 cm by 38 cm, painted in a single shade of dark red pigment. There are other images of pigs present in the cave.

3. The painting was created at least 51,200 years ago.

4. Researchers determined this age using a new scientific approach that involves using a laser to date calcium carbonate crystals that formed naturally on top of the painting.

5. The researchers interpret this artwork as a narrative scene, making it the oldest-known evidence of storytelling in art.

7. Significance:

i) These paintings provide the oldest evidence of storytelling, a fundamental aspect of human culture and identity.

ii) The depiction of a pig species that still inhabits Sulawesi links past and present wildlife on the island, highlighting the continuity of the natural environment over tens of thousands of years.

UPSC Syllabus: History

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