Indonesian archaeologists discovered a series of cave art in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. (Photo by National Centre for Archaeology (Arkernas) / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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World’s “Oldest Figurative Painting” Discovered in Borneo Cave

The artwork of wild cattle appears to be at least 40,000 years old.

A weathered section of a limestone cave deep in Borneo is home to the oldest known example of figurative drawings on Earth.

Researchers say the image of wounded wild cattle sketched on the red and orange walls depicts a hunt that likely took place at least 40,000 years ago. It was discovered in the remote Lubang Jeriji Saléh cave in the East Kalimantan province of Indonesian Borneo, The Guardian reported. The area is rife with thousands of cave drawings and has been studied since 1994.

“It is the oldest figurative cave painting in the world,” archaeologist and geochemist at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, Maxime Aubert, told the news site. “It’s amazing to see that. It’s an intimate window into the past.”

Handprint stencils were found near the cattle sketch. (National Centre for Archaeology (Arkernas) / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Stencils of the original artists’ hands were found above and below the cattle painting, a calling card of sorts for cave art found in the region.

The drawing’s age was determined by dating the cave’s surrounding calcite crusts formed by rain water that dotted the walls. A technique called uranium series analysis used on the crusts closest to the artwork found them to be at least 40,000 years old.

Read the full story at The Guardian