Archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest known cave painting: a life-sized picture of a wild pig that was made at least 45,500 years ago in Indonesia

Read the Story

Show Top Comments

> It is only accessible during the dry season because of flooding during the wet season — and members of the isolated Bugis community told the team it had never before been seen by Westerners. So it had actually been found before, maybe some long time ago. The Bugis just decided to tell people about it. Wonder what else the Bugis are hiding.


>The previously oldest dated rock art painting was found by the same team in Sulawesi. It depicted a group of part-human, part-animal figures hunting mammals, and was found to be at least 43,900 years old. 1600 years between these two paintings, a span of time we cannot conceive on a very deep level. 1600 years ago the Roman empire was on its last legs, and in all the time between then and now we accomplished an industrial revolution, powered flight, two world wars, and set foot on the moon. Humanity progresses at an exponential rate, and that can be seen cave paintings showing very similar things, made with the same technology 1600 years apart.


>To make handprints, the artists would have had to place their hands on a surface then spit pigment over it, and the team are hoping to try to extract DNA samples from residual saliva. that is one, long pig, in the first makes me feel safe to know that authorities, 45,500 years after the crime was committed, are still committed to identifying the parties responsible for this act and holding them accountable.


I love the way they’re using “discovered” here. Indonesians have known it was there for years. I was visiting some family on Sulawesi about 10 years ago and was taken by a local guide to visit this exact cave painting. If only I knew it was “undiscovered”…!


Title of this is incorrect. The paintings unearthed are the oldest rock paintings *depicting a real, recognisable object*.