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Thread: Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative Art

  1. #1
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    Default Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative Art

    Humanity's artistic heritage just got a new historical milestone. In a cave wall deep in the forests of the isle of Borneo, archaeologists have just confirmed that a depiction of some sort of cow is the world's oldest known figurative piece of art.
    It dates back to between 40,000 and 52,000 years ago, during the Upper Palaeolithic and the last ice age - at least 5,000 years older than the previous record-holder for figurative cave paintings, from the nearby Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
    It's been known since the 1990s that the caves of East Kalimantan on Borneo contain a large number of ancient paintings. However, it was thought that they were relatively young - only about 10,000 years old.
    Then archaeologist and geochemist Maxime Aubert of Griffith University in Australia - who has previously determined the age of nearby Sulawesi cave art - turned to radiometric dating to find out for sure.
    He tested not just the cattle paintings - likely a species of wild cattle called bantengs - but also the myriad hand silhouettes scattered all over the cave.


    One of the three bantengs in this panel is at least 40,000 years old.
    (Luc-Henry Fage)

    (CONT'D AT LINK)
    A Discovery in a Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative Art (LINK)


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    Hope the voyage is a long one.
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    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

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    Default Re: Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative

    eat mor chikin
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative

    I love this stuff but i wish i could believe the dates. It seems from looki g things up, radio dating can date the elements that make the rock, but not when they became part of the rock and the rock came to be.

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    Default Re: Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative

    ^ Frank!
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative

    It is probably the pigments that they are dating. The pigments often contained organic materials. Paint has been around a long time...

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    Default Re: Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative

    ...from a related article ---

    New dating methods show they are far older than anyone had thought they were. The team used uranium dating of the calcium carbonate deposits that built up over and around the paintings.
    Oldest cave art yet? Ancient paintings found in Borneo (LINK)

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

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    Default Re: Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative

    Quote Originally Posted by sharpiefan View Post
    So, if more art in other parts of the world is tested, the date may go back even further.

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    Default Re: Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative

    I thought Australia had older stuff than that.

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    Default Re: Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    I thought Australia had older stuff than that.
    So did I, didn’t a painting up north return a date of around 70,000 years?
    The definition of stupid has got to be the belief that more guns will negate the bloodshed done with guns.

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    Default Re: Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative

    Always a possibility.

    ETA:
    Australia has folks working on it. Could go back 50,000-80,000 years.

    A new Fellowship in Rock Art Dating has been awarded to the Kimberley Foundation Australia who has bestowed it on Dr Helen Green, a post-doctoral scientist at The University of Melbourne and a member of the Rock Art Dating research team. KFA Director Professor Andy Gleadow has described Dr Green as ‘a career scientist of exceptional merit and an emerging research leader.’

    The $740,000 Kimberley Foundation Australia Fellowship in Rock Art Dating is funded $600k by The Ian Potter Foundation and $140k by KFA. Helen will examine mineral coatings that have developed over time on rock art surfaces in the Kimberley, and identify which coatings might be dated using the uranium series dating method. The study will contribute to a multi-disciplinary project investigating the history of human origins in Australia and indigenous cultures in the Kimberley. Known as the Rock Art Dating project #2, it commenced its 2nd phase last month following a successful 3-year funded research period where technical firepower was the focus. It too is funded by KFA ($400k over four years) and the Australian Research Council also re-committed to the innovative project with an additional $880k to be spent over four years.


    (CONT'D AT LINK)
    (LINK)


    #include [ std-disclaimer ]
    Last edited by sharpiefan; 11-07-2018 at 04:05 PM.

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

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    Default Re: Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative

    Those hand-outlines are found all over the earth. I've seen them in sheltered spots and overhangs in the the southwest US.

    The method is to fill one's mouth with pigment and water, then place a hand on the rock and blow the pigment through a hollow reed or stem. I tried it (on a board at home)– very cool. A signature for people who had no written language.

    I wonder if there'd be enough DNA in a pigment sample to determine the genetic heritage of the maker?
    We're merely mammals. Let's misbehave! —Cole Porter

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    Default Re: Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative

    Quote Originally Posted by WX View Post
    So did I, didn’t a painting up north return a date of around 70,000 years?
    I know that at least some Australian rock carvings were 'living' - in that; they were re-carved (deepened) over time as they were worn away by the elements.
    Perhaps their paintings were similarly refreshed....?

    There is a challenging scenario regarding the rock carvings around Sydney. With the high tourist traffic they are being worn away quickly from being walked on. The traditional owners want to maintain them as they always have, but the authorities won't let them touch the 'heritage' carvings......
    "People should be able to access these benefits [Social Welfare] as a matter of right, with no more loss of their own standards of self-respect than would be involved in collecting from an insurance company the proceeds of an endowment policy on which they have been paying premiums for years."
    Robert Menzies - Liberal Party (Conservative) Prime Minister of Australia.

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    Default Re: Discovery in Borneo Cave Just Crushed The Record For The Oldest Known Figurative

    "There is a challenging scenario regarding the rock carvings around Sydney. With the high tourist traffic they are being worn away quickly from being walked on. The traditional owners want to maintain them as they always have, but the authorities won't let them touch the 'heritage' carvings......"

    …...and if they did they'd have to allow that the culture is not dead, a museum piece but a living culture in existence for 60-80,000 years and all that implies for treaties, governance, land claims etc. No government, or it's agency wishes to acknowledge the fact of the invasion, the battles, and the theft of a country.
    Which is strange because other sections of bureaucracy admit, and even facilitate the return of remains and sacred objects etc.

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