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17 December 2014
More ancient rock art found in Southeast Asia

Back in October 2015 research results were published by Griffith University (Australia) documenting the discovery of rock art in Sulawesi (Indonesia), dated at approximately 35,000 to 40,000 years old. At the time it was thought that rock art of this antiquity was rare, if not unique.
     Now further research by Griffith University, led by Rock Art Professor Paul Tacon, has revealed that it was not unique at all and was in fact widespread across Southeast Asia. This type of rock art mainly comprises simple animal images and hand stencils. The team used various techniques to date their findings, including numerical dating and analysis & comparison of various styles.
     Professor Tacon is quoted as saying "As with the early art of Europe, the oldest Southeast Asian images often incorporated, or were placed in relation to, natural features of rock surfaces. This shows a purposeful engagement with the new places early peoples arrived in for both symbolic and practical reasons. Essentially they humanised landscapes wherever they went, transforming them from wild places to cultural landscapes. This was the beginning of a process that continues to this day". He went on to add that "The research supports the idea suggested by the early Indonesian rock art dates that modern humans brought the practice of making semi-permanent images in rocky landscapes to Europe and Asia from Africa".

Edited from Griffith University PR (26 November 2014)

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