General, Research, Technology

The oldest animal drawing was found in Indonesia. He is 45 500 years old

One of the very first in the history of mankindpaintings was painted about 73 thousand years ago. It is located inside the African Blombos Cave and is a chaotic line. Of course, these scribbles can hardly be called a work of art, but this is the first evidence that people at some point in time learned to draw on the walls of caves. Over the years, more meaningful drawings with a plot began to appear in the caves. The oldest of them was the image of people who hunt the dwarf bull Anoa - the age of this drawing was estimated at almost 44 thousand years. The drawing was found inside one of the caves on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. But recently, in another cave on the same island, an older drawing of a pig was discovered. It is drawn in full size.

The pig found in the cave is drawn in life size

The very first drawing in history

One of the very first drawn by peoplerock carvings was opened in 2011. It was then that researchers from Africa and France discovered in the Blombos cave a drawing consisting of lines resembling a hashtag. According to scientists, the oldest picture was painted by primitive people about 73 thousand years ago. They used ocher as paints. This is the name of the natural orange pigment, which consists of iron and clay. Since the lines were drawn on a piece of stone and ended abruptly, scientists concluded that the lines were actually much longer. What exactly these lines mean is unknown to researchers and it is unlikely that they will ever solve this mystery. But the fact that such an ancient evidence of the interest of primitive people in art has survived to this day is a great success.

The oldest stone in the world

First drawing with a plot

But the first meaningful drawing was created by people about 45.5 thousand years ago... It was found in 2017, but the public aboutit became known only recently. According to the scientific journal Science Advances, the drawing was found in Leang Tedongnge Cave, which is located on the territory of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The picture shows four wild pigs. Only one of them is perfectly preserved, and the fourth almost disappeared due to the stratification of the surface of the cave walls. It is possible that other objects were drawn between the pigs. After all, ancient people clearly wanted to portray some kind of scene of their lives.

Figure A shows the position of the pigs in the huge drawing, in part B the largest pig, and in C the combs of bristles

Image dimensions are 136 x 54centimeters. Like many other cave paintings of those times, it is painted with ocher. There is a comb of bristles on the withers of the pig - this is the protruding hair, which is typical for male Indonesian pigs. According to the researchers, the animal in the picture seems to be watching the fight of the other pigs.

Animal hunting image

But what is most surprising in this picture is thatthe hunters were depicted with tails and pork snouts. I already wrote about this feature of the ancient painting in this material. It could be assumed that an unknown artist painted hunters who put masks on their faces to frighten animals. But they also have tails, and the animals themselves are depicted as very large. What kind of plot the picture tells is still unknown. But scientists tend to assume that they are dealing with the world's first fantastic picture.

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In addition to rock paintings, on the island of Sulawesiother ancient objects are also found. In 2009, stone tools of primitive people were found on the territory of the local village of Talepu. Their age is estimated at about 194 thousand years - perhaps they belonged to the first inhabitants of the island.