- An Indonesian cave painting that depicts a prehistoric hunting scene could be the world’s oldest figurative artwork dating back nearly 44,000 years, a discovery that points to an advanced artistic culture, according to new research.
- Spotted two years ago on the island of Sulawesi, the 4.5 metre (13 foot) wide painting features wild animals being chased by half-human hunters wielding what appear to be spears and ropes, announced by the study published in the journal Nature
- This hunting scene is to our knowledge currently the oldest pictorial record of storytelling and the earliest figurative artwork in the world.
- The discovery comes after a painting of an animal in a cave on the Indonesian island of Borneo was earlier determined to have been at least 40,000 years old, while in 2014, researchers dated figurative art on Sulawesi to 35,000 years ago.
- There are at least 242 caves or shelters with ancient imagery on Sulawesi alone, and new sites are being discovered annually.
- A half-lion, half-human ivory figure found in Germany that was estimated to be some 40,000 years old was thought to be the oldest example of therianthropy.
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