Researchers discovered cave paintings depicting what may be part-animal, part-human figures — decked out with animal snouts — hunting wild pigs and dwarf buffaloes in Indonesia. These may be the oldest known examples of rock art, a new study finds.
The 44,000-year-old artwork may also be the oldest evidence for the human ability to imagine the existence of supernatural beings, scientists added.
The ancient painting was discovered in the limestone cave of Leang Bulu’ Sipong 4 in the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in 2017. During a survey for rock art, study co-author Pak Hamrullah noticed “what appeared to be the entrance to a cave located high up in a limestone cliff face, and he climbed several meters up a fig tree vine to investigate it,” study co-author Adam Brumm, an archaeologist at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, told Live Science.