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Cave painting

Paintings, often prehistoric, on cave walls and ceilings / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In archaeology, cave paintings are a type of parietal art (which category also includes petroglyphs, or engravings), found on the wall or ceilings of caves. The term usually implies prehistoric origin, and the oldest known are more than 40,000 years old (art of the Upper Paleolithic) and found in the caves in the district of Maros (Sulawesi, Indonesia). The oldest are often constructed from hand stencils and simple geometric shapes.[5] More recently, in 2021, cave art of a pig found in Sulawesi, Indonesia, and dated to over 45,500 years ago, has been reported.[6][7]

Cueva de las Manos, Perito Moreno, Argentina. The art in the cave is dated between 7,300 BC and 700 AD,[lower-alpha 1] stenciled, mostly left hands are shown.[3][4]

A 2018 study claimed an age of 64,000 years for the oldest examples of non-figurative cave art in the Iberian Peninsula. Represented by three red non-figurative symbols found in the caves of Maltravieso, Ardales and La Pasiega, Spain, these predate the appearance of modern humans in Europe by at least 20,000 years and thus must have been made by Neanderthals rather than modern humans.[8]

In November 2018, scientists reported the discovery of the then-oldest known figurative art painting, over 40,000 (perhaps as old as 52,000) years old, of an unknown animal, in the cave of Lubang Jeriji Saléh on the Indonesian island of Borneo.[9][10] Nevertheless, in December 2019, cave paintings portraying pig hunting within the Maros-Pangkep karst region in Sulawesi were discovered to be even older, with an estimated age of at least 43,900 years. This remarkable finding was recognized as "the oldest known depiction of storytelling and the earliest instance of figurative art in human history."[11][12]