Australian archaeologists have discovered the oldest known figurative drawings today. It shows, apparently, a hunting scene: bulls and pigs running at armed men. However, some hunters, scientists noticed animal traits. This may mean that the scene at least partly invented by the artist and then before us the most ancient evidence of creation, reflecting human imagination. A report published in the journal Nature.
Dating the oldest images created by man, all the time relegated even further into the past — to the extent that, as archaeologists continue to find new samples. The oldest image of the currently known was discovered in the layer an antiquity of about 73 thousand years. This is a set of intersecting lines drawn on stone and resembling a hashtag. They were probably part of a more complex pattern.
The oldest drawing that was dated more precisely by the degree of decay of uranium — about 65 thousand years. He was found in a cave in the West of Spain; it is believed that it could have been made by Neanderthals. Among the lines in this picture you can see the handprints and anthropomorphic figures, but it still relates to non-figurative art, that is, abstract images.
The oldest known figurative drawing was created about 40 thousand years ago in a cave on the island of Borneo. It was made in red ink and depicts a wild bull.
Now Robert Maxim (Maxim Aubert) from Griffith University in Australia and colleagues found the ancient image of scenes of hunting in Indonesia, this time on the South island of Sulawesi. In this region known 242 of the cave images, but in December 2017, the researchers found another Leang Bulu Sepong 4. On the back wall of the cave, scientists have noticed a long (4.5 meters) monochrome image that they tend to be interpreted as a hunting scene.
Just figure you can distinguish the 14 figures. Six of them — the animals: two pigs (presumably Indonesian warty Sus celebensis) and four dwarf Buffalo (of Anoa, Bubalus sp.). The other 8 — so-called “therianthropy”: anthropomorphic figures with certain features of animals. Some of them are holding long, thin objects that can be mistaken for a dart or rope. While uranium Dating showed that all the shapes were painted at the same time — thus, before us a single scene. And judging by the fact that in the picture the game runs directly into people, standing in a row, you can assume that it is a strategic image of hunting: of the tribe expels animals from shelters, and the catchers try to catch them alive with the help of ropes.