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Oldest "paleoart" found in Indonesia

Ben Creisler

Not strictly vertpaleo but modern paleoartists have ancient precursors...

M. Aubert, A. Brumm, M. Ramli, T. Sutikna, E. W. Saptomo, B. Hakim, M.
J. Morwood, G. D. van den Bergh, L. Kinsley & A. Dosseto (2014)
Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Nature 514: 223–227 (09 October 2014)

with video

Archaeologists have long been puzzled by the appearance in Europe
~40–35 thousand years (kyr) ago of a rich corpus of sophisticated
artworks, including parietal art (that is, paintings, drawings and
engravings on immobile rock surfaces)1, 2 and portable art (for
example, carved figurines)3, 4, and the absence or scarcity of
equivalent, well-dated evidence elsewhere, especially along early
human migration routes in South Asia and the Far East, including
Wallacea and Australia5, 6, 7, 8, where modern humans (Homo sapiens)
were established by 50 kyr ago9, 10. Here, using uranium-series dating
of coralloid speleothems directly associated with 12 human hand
stencils and two figurative animal depictions from seven cave sites in
the Maros karsts of Sulawesi, we show that rock art traditions on this
Indonesian island are at least compatible in age with the oldest
European art11. The earliest dated image from Maros, with a minimum
age of 39.9 kyr, is now the oldest known hand stencil in the world. In
addition, a painting of a babirusa ('pig-deer') made at least 35.4 kyr
ago is among the earliest dated figurative depictions worldwide, if
not the earliest one. Among the implications, it can now be
demonstrated that humans were producing rock art by ~40 kyr ago at
opposite ends of the Pleistocene Eurasian world.