The Oldest Painting – level 3

20-01-2021 07:00

Scientists have discovered the world’s oldest known animal cave art on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

The painting of a wild pig has been dated to 45,500 years ago, and scientists consider it the oldest depiction of the animal world anywhere on the planet. The animal has a clearly visible head, tail, and legs and next to it, there are two images of human hands.

The site of the discovery was really special and incredibly exciting because it was located in a hidden valley up in the highlands of southern Sulawesi. It was really close to one of the largest cities in Indonesia.

Scientists said that they were extraordinarily lucky to be able to date the painting based on the discovery of a small mineral growth that had formed on top of the painting. The dating method which was used is called Uranium-series dating.

Difficult words: cave art (paintings and engravings on the walls of caves and rock shelters), depiction (a representation of something in words or images), Uranium-series dating (a method that uses the radioactive decay of uranium to calculate an age).

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