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Thursday, 04 July 2024 13:23

BRIN Finds 51,200-year-old Cave Painting, Oldest in Indonesia

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VOInews, Jakarta: A research team from the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), in collaboration with Griffith University and Southern Cross University, Australia, has discovered the oldest cave painting or rock art in Indonesia, which is at least 51,200 years old.

The cave painting or rock art consisting of a number of illustrations of people, anoa, and pigs was found in a limestone cave located in Leang Karampuang, Maros-Pangkep, South Sulawesi.

"This discovery is the first rock art in Indonesia that is more than 50,000 years old," said Head of the Research Team from BRIN, Adhi Agus Oktaviana in Jakarta, Thursday.

Oktaviana assessed that this discovery has important implications related to understanding the origins of the earliest art.

She explained that the presence of more anoa and human images indicated an attempt by people in ancient times to communicate the message that at that time anoa were quite dangerous, so that people at that time had to work together to hunt anoa, although there are other opinions that indicate the images have a certain spiritual meaning.

Oktaviana said that her team's discovery indicated that narrative cave paintings were an important part of early Indonesian human art culture at that time.

"Humans have basically had the ability to communicate in the form of stories for more than 51,200 years, but because words cannot become stone fossils, all that remains is depictions in the form of art. This discovery in Sulawesi is the oldest evidence that can be known from an archaeological perspective," he said.

Oktaviana said that her findings have been published in the leading science journal, Nature, because they used the latest method in their discovery, namely through laser ablation U-series (LA-U-series) at Griffith University and Southern Cross University to obtain accurate dating on the thin layer of calcium carbonate that forms on the decorative art.

She emphasized that research on cave paintings or rock paintings is important to do, because research on rock paintings helps research on civilization and migration of ancient humans, where research using excavation or digging methods requires sophisticated technology and a lot of money.

On the same occasion, the Head of BRIN Laksana Tri Handoko appreciated the researchers for their findings . He considered this as an implementation of the responsibility of the nation's archaeologists in finding historical relics of the ancestors of the Indonesian people.

"Indonesia is rich in relics, and not just relics, but also authentic evidence of the richness of our culture and civilization in Indonesia," said Laksana Tri Handoko.

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