A team of archaeologists in Indonesia has discovered what may be the world’s oldest known cave painting dating back to more than 45,000 years.

  • The cave painting depicts a wild boar endemic to the Sulawesi island of Indonesia, where the painting was found.
  • The central Indonesian island, which occupies an area of over 174,000 sq. km, is situated between Asia and Australia.
  • It has a long history of human occupation.

Significance of the painting

  • The archaeologists’ note that the dated painting of the Sulawesi warty pig seems to be the world’s oldest surviving representational image of an animal.
  • The painting was made using red ochre pigment and depicts a pig with a short crest of upright hairs and a pair of horn-like facial warts in front of the eyes.
  • These pigs have been hunted by humans for tens of thousands of years and are the most commonly depicted animal in the ice age rock art of the island.
  • It suggests that they have long been used as food and form a “focus of creative thinking and artistic expression” for people of that time.

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