- Title: Indonesian cave art is earliest known record of "story telling," researchers say
- Date: 16th December 2019
- Summary: JAKARTA, INDONESIA (DECEMBER 16, 2019) (REUTERS) ADHI AGUS OKTAVIANA, RESEARCHER AT INDONESIA NATIONAL RESEARCH CENTRE FOR ARCHAEOLOGY SHOWING THE RESEARCH FINDINGS VARIOUS OF IMAGES FROM THE RESEARCH FINDINGS
- Embargoed: 30th December 2019 09:59
- Location: SOUTH SULAWESI AND JAKARTA, INDONESIA
- City: SOUTH SULAWESI AND JAKARTA, INDONESIA
- Country: Indonesia
- Topics: Art,Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA002BA856IV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:A cave painting found on Indonesia's island of Sulawesi, depicting human-like figures hunting animals, appears to be the earliest known pictorial record of story-telling, according to a study by a team of Australian and Indonesian researchers.
The painting, found in a limestone cave in 2017, was dated to nearly 44,000 years ago using uranium-series analysis, they said in the study published last week in the journal Nature. It shows eight therianthropes, or humans with animal characteristics, appearing to chase and kill six animals such as the warty pigs native to the island, using what seem to be spears and ropes.
Until now, the oldest rock art showing a character with the characteristics of an animal had been an ivory sculpture found in a cave in Germany. Thought to date back 40,000 years, it depicts a human body attached to a feline-like head.
The research was done in collaboration with Indonesia's National Research Centre for Archaeology, and scientists from culture heritage department of Makassar, the provincial capital. Some of the caves had sustained damage that could threaten the art, said Indonesian rock art expert Adhi Agus Oktaviana, pointing to threats from salt, dust, peeling, microbes and smoke.
(Production: Rahman Muchtar, Adi Kurniawan, Heru Asprihanto, Wahyuwidi Cinthya)
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