MYSTERY WIRE — Cave drawings dated to nearly 44,000 years old have been discovered in Indonesia. The find is described as the oldest depiction of a hunting scene.
Australian archaeologists Maxime Aubert and Adam Brumm led a team that reported the discovery, published Dec. 11 in the journal Nature.
An article on sciencenews.org quotes Brumm: “We assume these ancient artists were Homo sapiens and that spirituality and religious thinking were part of early human culture in Indonesia.”
The drawings depict “part-human, part-animal hunters” that suggest a belief in supernatural beings, the article says.
The artwork escaped attention this long because it is in a raised alcove about 60 feet above ground level, Aubert told The Washington Post. The area is in a populous area near the city of Makassar. The land belongs to a mining company.
Scientists could not use carbon dating techniques because the drawings were made using a red pigment. Well-known drawings in French caves were made in charcoal. But scientists are confident these drawings are twice as old as any previously known storytelling.