The world’s most ancient evidence of narrative expression through visual creation

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Discovered on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, our team, in collaboration with researchers at Griffith University in Australia, unveils a groundbreaking find – what could be the most ancient evidence of storytelling through artistic creation in the world. The cave painting situated in the limestone cave of Leang Karampuang captures three humanoid figures engaging with a wild boar.

The caves on Sulawesi have disclosed the most ancient hunting scene globally, with a minimum age of 48,000 years, as determined by an innovative dating technique utilizing laser ablation acquisition sampling combined with uranium series analysis.

Advanced technology reshaping our comprehension of the inception of early art

In the journal Nature, the findings of a team of scientists co-led by researchers from Griffith University and Southern Cross University have been unveiled, documenting the discovery and dating of the cave painting on Sulawesi, Indonesia.

With a minimum age of 51,200 years, the cave painting at Leang Karampuang preserves the oldest communication known globally. To contextualize this timeline, the Pyramids at Giza are ascribed to 4,500 years ago, rendering this rock art crafted by our forebears approximately 46,700 years prior. Even the most ancient cave art found in Europe falls significantly short in age.

Teaming up with Google Arts & Culture has empowered us to unveil a digital gateway into our shared past through the premier panoramic depictions of these caves captured only a few weeks ago. This partnership enables individuals worldwide to explore our sites and also plays a critical role in our conservation endeavors.


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