|2/2. Researchers discovered a painting of a yam-like motif on the ceiling of a deep cavern, which they say is at least 16,000 years old. (Supplied: UNE)|
University of New England. Researchers have dated what is arguably the longest, most impressive rock art sequence found anywhere in the world, in the northwest Kimberley of Western Australia, which could potentially challenge Western Europe as the location for the production of the world’s earliest rock art.
Lead Author and Archaeologist from the University of New England, Dr June Ross says the new timeline for the emergence of rock art in Sulawesi in Indonesia at around 39,000 years ago, together with evidence from recent excavations in the northwest Kimberley show that humans with sophisticated artistic skills settled along the northern coastline as early as 36,000 years ago.
“Dating Kimberley rock art remains the greatest obstacle to be addressed if the significance of the assemblage is to be recognised on the world stage,” said Archeologist Dr Ross.
Dr Ross worked alongside researchers from Macquarie University and the University of Wollongong, as well as Aboriginal Traditional Owners based in Kandiwal and Kalumburu on the collaborative Australian Research Council project.
The team aimed to document, analyse and date the wealth of Kimberley art across the region. Focused on the rugged Lawley and Mitchell river basins, team members recorded more than 200 sites over a three-year period, providing a broad platform from which to establish the antiquity of the art.
Researchers trialed three different dating techniques on a range of rock art styles. [...] UNE News / Link 2