Scientists have discovered the most ancient drawings of mankind

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Analysis of rocks showed that the drawings on the walls of the Indonesian cave were made 52 thousand years ago.

In the jungle of the Indonesian island of Borneo, scientists have discovered a cave with the most ancient paintings of mankind. Pictures of wild oxen are made by ocher over 40 thousand years ago. Later images of people were also found in the cave–they are between 13 and 20 thousand years old. There are also very ancient drawings made about 73 thousand years ago, but scientists have not yet decided whether it is possible to call several red lines a painting. Some experts even have doubts that the drawings were made by man, and did not arise as a result of natural processes.

Photo National Centre for Archaeology / ANADOLU AGENCY
Photo National Centre for Archaeology / ANADOLU AGENCY

To get to the cave in Borneo, scientists organized an entire expedition. They overcame part of the way in a canoe, then walked four days through the jungle.

Calling the date of the appearance of the pictures was also not easy. Usually, the method of carbon analysis is used to determine the age of objects, but in such ancient images there is too little carbon. Therefore, another method was used–the analysis of mineral formations resulting from the infiltration of water through rocks. Such formations contain uranium, therefore, using data on its decay, one can quite accurately determine their age. Taking a sample of the formations under the drawings and those that arose over the lines, the scientists found that the oldest images in the cave are about 52 thousand years old. This is 12 thousand years more than that found in Germany in 2003, which were previously considered the most ancient.

“We are planning an archaeological excavation in a cave in order to get more information about the people who made these drawings. Rock art gives us a lot of information about the ancient ancestors, through which they seem to communicate with us,” archaeologists said in an interview with CNN.


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