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24 March 2005
Academic claims Indian rock paintings are 25,000 years old

An archaeologist in India has suggested that the rock paintings at Bhimbetka are as old as the oldest rock paintings known in the world, making them 25,000 years old.
    Dr Narayan Vyas, the superintending archaeologist with the Chhattisgarh circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), made his claims in a post-doctoral research work entitled "A comparative study of rock paintings of Raisen District, with special emphasis on Bhimbetka".
    Dr Vyas said “Western scientists never accepted that Indian paintings could be that old. They always put the age of Indian rock paintings at maximum 10-11,000 years. However an in-depth study of the style and the superimposition patterns in the paintings in Raisen district, mainly Bhimbetka complex proves that the age of some of the paintings run as old as 20-25,000 years."
    The claims would make the Bhimbetka paintings contemporary with the oldest rock paintings of France, Italy, Spain, Siberia, parts of America and South Africa.

Source: Hindustan Times (21 March 2005)

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