The oldest rock art in Australia

It is 17,000 years old. That is why it is the oldest cave painting in Australia. A group of scientists from this country determined the date on which the picture was created. They used a novel radiocarbon dating technology. The drawing represents … a kangaroo.

Australia's oldest rock painting shows a kangaroo.
Australia’s oldest rock painting shows a kangaroo.
Striking scenes

Examples of early art attract the attention of archaeologists and anthropologists. Among them, cave painting occupies a special place. There are many such drawings in Australia, most of which quite naturally depict animals or hunting scenes.

At the same time, it is very difficult to determine how long it has been since these images were created. Ink pigments typically do not contain any organic material required for radiocarbon dating.

Australian scientists had samples of the Rock art from the Kimberley region. This is located in Western Australia. They realized something that could serve as a reference. Some drawings contain remains of ancient swarms of hornets that can be dated using a radiocarbon dating method. That’s right, they’re like wasp fossils. It is also possible to define a time interval for the creation of works. It happens when they find a place to keep the fragments of these swarms both under and on top of the picture. That way there would be a more specific time frame.

The researchers used novel techniques to calculate the time it took to make them.
The researchers used novel techniques to calculate the time it took to make them.
Artistic styles

The authors used this method to analyze most of the drawings in the area. It has been found that they were created 17,000 to 13,000 years ago. These works were made in the same style and represent animals. Including snakes, lizards, marsupials that look like Kangaroos, Quokkas, wallabies. According to the team, this fact confirms something that has been discussed. This unique artistic style existed in Australia for at least 4,000 years, at the end of the last Ice Age maximum (the time of the maximum expansion of the ice cover during the last Ice Age approximately 20,000 years ago).

Click to rate this entry!
(Votes: 1 Average: 2)
Leave a Comment