The First Ancient Human Art Work in The World

Image prints of palms around 40,000 years old on the walls of a cave in Maros, South Sulawesi prove that Indonesia is the birthplace of the first works of art in the world and not in Europe, as is believed so far.

In addition to the painting of the palm, a picture of a pig-deer, an animal that only exists on the mainland of Sulawesi, is also found in the same cave. The painting is around 35,000 years old.

The findings were published in the October 9, 2014 issue of Nature, by Indonesian and Australian researchers. According to scientists, their findings challenged two theories about the expression of human art.

The first theory which states that art originated in Western Europe because ancient paintings in caves were only found in that region.

Second, about whether art developed independently but continuously in various places in the world or was first brought by Homo sapiens to leave Africa and spread throughout the world.

“Europeans can no longer claim to be the first to develop an abstract picture in mind,” said Anthony Dosseto, a scientist from Wollongong University.

Anthropologists in the world judge that art or painting on the stone is an indicator from the beginning of abstract thinking, human ability to reflect ideas and events.

Dosseto and his team, in the research, counted the age of 12 hand-printed images and two images of animals found in seven caves in South Sulawesi.

The pictures were actually found in the 1950s. But when it was thought the pictures were younger, because there were no paintings that could last more than 10,000 years in the tropics.

But Dosseto et al. Recalculated the age of the images using radioactive techniques, tracking the remains of uranium found in layers of calcite that grew about 10 millimeters above the paintings.

The method can only estimate the minimum age of the paintings, so it is estimated that the images are older than those measured.

Now, according to the researchers, the paintings in the Sulawesi cave are the oldest ancient images ever found in the world.

Previously, the oldest printed palm paintings in the world were found in the cave of El Castillo in northern Spain. The painting is around 37,300 years old.

The oldest animal painting, which depicts rhinos and painted using charcoal, was found in the cave of Chauvet, France. The age is around 35,300 to 38,827 years.

While the use of red in paintings is found in Fumane, Italy and is around 36,000 to 41,000 years old