Neanderthals painted stalagmites red

Deep in Cueva de Ardales (Cave of Ardales) in Spain, stalagmites have been painted red by artistic Neanderthals, according to a study published in PNAS. Stalagmites, or flowstones, are long, hanging spikes made from calcite and other carbonate materials that form where water flows down cave walls and floors. The stalagmites in Cueva de Ardales, … Continue reading Neanderthals painted stalagmites red

Disappearing ancient Indonesian rock art

Some of the world’s earliest known cave art in Indonesia is “weathering at an alarming rate”, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. Researchers suggest the disappearing Indonesian rock art is correlated with volatile weather patterns caused by anthropogenic climate change. Local archaeologists and site keepers for the ancient artworks of Maros-Pangkep in Sulawesi, … Continue reading Disappearing ancient Indonesian rock art

Conch shell tones

How old-fashioned is your taste in music? Researchers have recreated notes from a 17,000-year-old conch shell, found in a cave in southern France. Discovered in the Marsoulas Cave, just north of the Pyrenees mountains, in 1931, the shell was initially thought to be a drinking cup. But a more detailed analysis, published today in the … Continue reading Conch shell tones

Oldest cave painting of animals found in Indonesia

The dating of an exceptionally old cave painting of animals that was found recently on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi is reported in our paper published in the journal Science Advances. The painting portrays images of the Sulawesi warty pig (Sus celebensis), which is a small (40-85kg) short-legged wild boar endemic to the island. Dating … Continue reading Oldest cave painting of animals found in Indonesia

Small works of art on a large canvas

Australian researchers are exploring the backstory to the most detailed examples ever found of a rare form of rock art. The miniature stencils are too small to have been made by tracing articles or body parts, suggesting models first had to be created. Seventeen images were found in the Yilbilinji rockshelter at Limmen National Park … Continue reading Small works of art on a large canvas

Cave art link to Australia’s first people

Outlines of human hands painted in a Timor-Leste cave might be from the time of the last Ice Age, possibly offering insight into human migration to Australia from Asia around 65,000 years ago. Previously, all known rock art in Timor-Leste – also called East Timor – was thought to be from the Holocene, which began … Continue reading Cave art link to Australia’s first people