Cave paintings in Sulawesi, Indonesia, have been estimated to be at least 39,900 years old, changing ideas about creative art being exclusively European, reports BBC News (note to Graham Hancock fans: how does this affect Graham’s hypothesis in Supernatural?):
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Scientists have identified some of the earliest cave paintings produced by humans.
Until now, paintings this old had been confirmed in caves only in Western Europe.
Researchers tell the journal Nature that the Indonesian discovery transforms ideas about how humans first developed the ability to produce art.
Early artists made them by carefully blowing paint around hands that were pressed tightly against the cave walls and ceilings. The oldest is at least 40,000 years old.
There are also human figures, and pictures of wild hoofed animals that are found only on the island. Dr Maxime Aubert, of Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, who dated the paintings found in Maros in Southern Sulawesi, explained that one of them (shown immediately below) was probably the earliest of its type.