This is an ocher painting of a pig that has been located on the wall of one of the Indonesian caves, more specifically Leang Tedongnge in South Celebes. Most likely, it is one of the still living locally species of wild pig, ie the Celebes pig, whose population, although protected, unfortunately declines every year, all due to poaching. According to the researchers, the animal has the characteristics of this species, such as a vertically positioned hair or a pair of preorbital appendages on the face, was painted with ocher and looks as if it was watching a fight or other type of interaction of other pigs.
There is also an imprint of human hands, but if it were not for a stroke of luck, researchers would have a problem with determining the age of the painting – while calcium carbonate has formed on the fragment of the pig’s hind leg, and its dating is much easier. And because it is in the painting, it is certainly younger than it, so we know that the image of a pig is at least 45.5 thousand years old. This means that we are dealing with the oldest example of a man-made painting of a recognizable object in the world, beating the previous record holder – a drawing from the same cave – by nearly 2,000 years.
It is worth emphasizing, however, that this is not the oldest example of art in general, because this title belongs to the abstract red lines found in South Africa, dating back to 70,000 years. In the case of the latest discovery, however, we are dealing with figurative art, although scientists believe that the wild pig will not keep its record for too long, because recently there has been evidence that suggests that humans lived in Australia as early as 65,000 years ago, and their path towards of the continent, it probably ran through Indonesia, so it’s only a matter of time until we find something interesting with more detailed archaeological works. Finally, it is also worth noting that we are not at all sure that the painting was made by Homo sapiens, because at that time several species of the genus Homo were walking on the ground.
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