The Newest Oldest Cave Paintings in the World

just wonderful!

The Lost Works Department

Not a month after we find out about the 40,000-year-old abstract cave art produced by Neanderthals, in Gorham’s Cave on Gibraltar, we now hear about cave art from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, halfway across the planet from Spain.

Hand stencils from Timpuseng cave, near the town of Maros, in the province of  South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Hand stencils from Timpuseng cave, near the town of Maros, in the province of South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

It appears that the hand stencils shown above were produced about the same as the etchings in Gorham’s Cave – somewhere around 40,000 year ago – which makes it the oldest confirmed cave art outside of Western Europe, although this artwork appears to be more figurative than abstract – if I’m not mistaken. And even though this is only one example of art this old found anywhere else in the world, it speaks volumes about the possibilities of when art was really first produced and how widespread it was. It’s like finding life…

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