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Oldest Figurative Art

Started by Recusant, December 13, 2019, 05:41:55 PM

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Recusant

Previously, the oldest paintings that depicted recognisable figures had been found in Borneo, Indonesia. What are thought to be older paintings have now been found in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

"World's oldest artwork uncovered in Indonesian cave: study" | AFP

Quote

Image Credit: Griffith University/AFP / Ratno Sardi


An Indonesian cave painting that depicts a prehistoric hunting scene could be the world's oldest figurative artwork dating back nearly 44,000 years, a discovery that points to an advanced artistic culture, according to new research.

Spotted two years ago on the island of Sulawesi, the 4.5 metre (13 foot) wide painting features wild animals being chased by half-human hunters wielding what appear to be spears and ropes, said the study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

Using dating technology, the team at Australia's Griffith University said it had confirmed that the limestone cave painting dated back at least 43,900 years during the Upper Palaeolithic period.

"This hunting scene is -- to our knowledge -- currently the oldest pictorial record of storytelling and the earliest figurative artwork in the world," researchers said.

[. . .]

However, some scientists expressed scepticism about whether the latest find was actually one scene or a series of paintings done over possibly thousands of years.

Depictions of humans alongside animals did not become common in other parts of the world until about 10,000 years ago, one said.

"Whether it's a scene is questionable," Paul Pettitt, an archaeologist and rock-art specialist at Durham University in Britain, was quoted as saying.

[Full article]
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


billy rubin

that is the coolest thing i've learned about this whole year.


more people have been to berlin than i have

Tank

Quote from: billy rubin on December 13, 2019, 06:16:36 PM
that is the coolest thing i've learned about this whole year.

One could do worse things with ones time than look through Recusant's posts in the Science section.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
"Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt." ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

billy rubin

QuoteHowever, some scientists expressed scepticism about whether the latest find was actually one scene or a series of paintings done over possibly thousands of years.

Depictions of humans alongside animals did not become common in other parts of the world until about 10,000 years ago, one said.

"Whether it's a scene is questionable," Paul Pettitt, an archaeologist and rock-art specialist at Durham University in Britain, was quoted as saying

on what basis should we expect cultures thousands of years ago and thousands of miles apart to have similar art at any one time?


more people have been to berlin than i have

Recusant

I haven't seen any images of this cave art in its entirety. Perhaps those who have think that it's reasonable to question the assumption that the art in question is a narrative scene as opposed to an accumulation of distinct images.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


billy rubin

Quote from: Recusant on December 13, 2019, 09:50:10 PM
I haven't seen any images of this cave art in its entirety. Perhaps those who have think that it's reasonable to question the assumption that the art in question is a narrative scene as opposed to an accumulation of distinct images.

i don't know. is it established that technology progresses more or less at even rates through pre-history? or at least has similar benchmarks, maybe. i'm thinking of neolithic clovis points that occur more or less at the same time in different places.

but i don't know anything about art, much less whether it shows parallel developments at different times. is there a general pattern of artistic changes over time in any particular culture? what would we say about a piece of paul klee's if we found it in a neolithic cave? would we even recognize it as art?

curious.


more people have been to berlin than i have

No one

Tank:
One could do worse things with ones time than look through Recusant's posts in the Science section.

And my catalog is nearly complete!

Buddy

It is fascinating that cave art manages to survive as long as it does
Strange but not a stranger<br /><br />I love my car more than I love most people.

Ecurb Noselrub

It does show an early indication of the capacity for abstract thought and inductive reasoning.  "The human-animal figures, known in mythology as therianthropes, suggested that early humans in the region were able to imagine things that did not exist in the world, the researchers said."  There is a sense of reasoning from the instance of their ability to hunt and kill animals to the generalized concept of "we must be superhuman or have the help of gods".   

billy rubin



more people have been to berlin than i have

xSilverPhinx

That's really cool! 8)

Just imagine an ancient human painting that...sends a shiver down my spine.
I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey