Scientists from Australia have found a new oldest drawing of a person on Earth – this is an image of a pig and prints of two hands in one of the caves in Indonesia. Judging by the data, they are 45.5 thousand years old. It is painted with red mineral ocher.
It probably shows a Sulawesi pig, which even now lives in the region. The find proves that the region was an important point of rock art in those distant times. According to scientists, this proves that the tradition of cave paintings did not originate in Ice Age Europe.
To determine the date of creation, the team examined the calcite minerals in the figure. This was done by dating the uranium and thorium. When rainwater seeps through a cave, it dissolves a tiny amount of uranium, then decays it turns into thorium. Thanks to the ratio of elements, scientists have determined the age.
Scientists noted that there may be small errors in the dates in the calculations, so 45,500 years is the approximate age of the drawing.
There are also older drawings, for example, intersecting red lines were found in South Africa, their age is 73 thousand years, but this is not a complete drawing.