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.