Friday, July 12, 2024 | 20:25 WIB

The oldest cave painting in the world found in South Sulawesi

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Jakarta, IO – The oldest painting in the world, estimated to be more than 50,000 years old, was discovered by a joint research team from the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Griffith University, and Southern Cross University (SCU) in a limestone cave, Leang Karampuang, Maros-Pangkep, South Sulawesi.

The painting depicts three human-like figures interacting with a wild boar. This discovery proves that since 50,000 years ago, humans have been able to communicate in the form of pictures telling stories, per Brin.go.id, Fri (5/7).

“This publication further confirms that the images in the archipelago, especially in Wallacea, are more complex than we previously thought, that the images in Europe are more dominant, better. Apparently, here it’s even better,” said head of the research team Adhi Agus Oktaviana.

To find out the age of the painting, the research team applied the latest analysis method through U-series laser ablation (LA-U-series) to get an accurate date on the thin layer of calcium carbonate that formed on top of the decorative art.

“The results of the analysis show that the decorative art beneath this layer has a earliest date of around 51,200 years ago. So, this makes it the oldest decorative cave drawing in the world,” said Adhi.

The Maros-Pangkep area was deliberately chosen as a research location, because it has the most rock art sites in Indonesia, almost 500 sites.

Read: Indonesia’s Jersey At The Paris Olympics, Designed By Didit Hediprasetyo, Officially Launched

Meanwhile, the LA-U-series analysis method developed by Maxime Abert, professor at the Griffith Center for Social and Cultural Research (GCSCR), was chosen by the research team because it is able to produce more accurate data regarding the age of the calcium carbonate layers.

“We have previously used uranium-based methods to find the age of rock art in the Sulawesi and Kalimantan regions. However, the LA-U-series technique produces more accurate data because it is able to detect the age of the calcium carbonate layer in very detail, up to close to the time when the decorative art was made. This discovery will revolutionize rock art dating analysis methods,” said Maxime. (bp)

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