Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia
- Permanent Link:
- Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia
- Series Title:
- M. Aubert
E. W. Saptomo
M. J. Morwood
G. D. van den Bergh
- Publication Date:
- Subjects / Keywords:
- South Asia ( local )
Arly Human Migration ( local )
Routes ( local )
- serial ( sobekcm )
- Archaeologists have long been puzzled by the appearance in Europe âˆ¼40â€“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 (â€˜pig-deerâ€™) 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 âˆ¼40 kyr ago at opposite ends of the Pleistocene Eurasian world.
- Original Version:
- Nature, Vol. 514 (2014-10-08).
- Source Institution:
- University of South Florida Library
- Holding Location:
- University of South Florida
- Rights Management:
- This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.
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