Predating the next oldest depiction of a human/animal hunting scene by 4,000 years, this 43,900-year-old scene painted on cave walls on Sulawesi (an island in central Indonesia) is now believed to be the oldest—and includes one of the most complex discoveries yet. It reshapes our long-held conceptions about the practice of hunting by depicting therianthropes, predominantly human figures with a distinguishing animal feature. In this scene, eight therianthropes approach wild pigs and dwarf buffaloes. But researchers are uncertain if this is part of a grander chase and ambush scheme or a shamanic ritual led by “animal helpers,” prominent figures in such practices. Also a significant discovery for the timeline of modern art, this discovery proves that figurative painting originated outside of Europe, contradicting the long-held belief amongst academics. Read more at The New York Times.
43,900-Year-Old Cave Art Depicts Ancient Hunting Scene