World's Oldest Cave Painting Found in Indonesia

World's Oldest Cave Painting Found in Indonesia

A group of archaeologists has discovered what is believed to be the world’s oldest known cave painting dating back 45,500 years. The cave art was found in South Sulawesi during field research being conducted with a leading Indonesian archaeology research center called Pusat Penelitian Arkeologi Nasional (ARKENAS). The cave painting is a figurative depiction of a Sulawesi warty pig, a creature common on the Indonesian island.

The pig painting was discovered in a limestone cave in Leang Tedongnge. It is considered to be the earliest known representational work of art in the world. The cave is located in a valley enclosed by steep limestone cliffs and is only accessible by a narrow passage during the dry season. The floor of the valley is completely flooded during the wet season.


An isolated Bugis community lives in the Hidden Valley who say Westerners have never visited the valley. The pig painting was dated to at least 45,500 years ago and is part of a rock art panel located above a high ledge along the cave’s rear wall. Researchers describe the painting as a pig with a short crest of upright hairs and a pair of horn-like facial warts in front of the eyes, all characteristic features of adult male Sulawesi pigs.

Pig painting, the oldest |
Pig painting, the oldest |


The painting was made using red ocher pigment, and the painting shows the pig observing a fight or social interaction between two other warty pigs. Researchers say that humans have hunted the warty pigs for tens of thousands of years, and they are the most commonly portrayed animal in the Ice Age rock art of the island.

Researchers point out that dating rock art is very challenging. However, rock art produced in limestone caves can be dated using uranium-series analysis of calcium carbonate deposits that form naturally on the cave wall surface where the art is painted. It was that mineral deposit that allowed the team to date the cave art 45,500 years old. The mineral deposit formed on the art’s surface, indicating the art was painted before the deposit formed. The previous oldest rock art was dated to 43,900 years old.


Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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