Dating cave paintings
Dating cave paintings - dating gambar vcd
At death, the exchange stops, and the carbon-14 then decays with a known half-life, which enables scientists to calculate the time of death.
As Aubert puts it: “There was some idea that early Europeans were more aware of themselves and their surroundings.The series of images, including the stenciled outlines of human hands and the stick-legged figures of animals, were discovered back in the 1950s, adorning the walls of limestone caves on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.Though the paintings had long been assumed to be no more than 10,000 years old, a group of researchers from Indonesia and Australia have now dated the earliest examples to as many as 40,000 years ago, or around the same age as similar paintings found on the walls of caves in France and Spain.With the help of new physical and chemical dating methods, scientists are finally beginning to discover how and when archaic species became…well, us.‘The great breakthrough in Quaternary archaeology was radiocarbon dating,’ Walker says.To get a clearer picture, scientists are exploiting diverse physical phenomena, from uranium’s radioactivity to life’s preference for l-amino acids.
A huge development in the story of humans is ‘modern’ behaviour, or acting like a human as opposed to acting like a two-legged ape – but it’s hard to date.According to Alistair Pike, an archaeologist at the University of Southampton (UK) who was not involved in the new study, the images found in Indonesia “look ‘line-y’, almost like brush strokes,” while the early European images “look dabbed, almost like finger paint.” In recent years, archeologists have used similar dating techniques to estimate the age of the oldest cave painting to have been discovered in Europe, a red disk painted on the walls of a Spanish cave called El Castillo that is at least 40,800 years old.The earliest depiction of an animal found in Europe is a rhinoceros painted on the wall of France’s Chauvet Cave, which has been dated to between 35,300 to 38,827 years ago.After examining 12 images of human hands and two depictions of animal figures found on the walls of seven different caves, the researchers found that one hand image was at least 39,900 years old.Though the practice of blowing or spraying pigment around a hand pressed to the rock’s surface would become common among cave artists through the ages (and continues among young schoolchildren today), the Sulawesi image appears to be the earliest example of its kind–some 2,000 years older than the minimum age of the oldest European hand stencil.Although carbon dating is now more reliable, it has one major drawback: it only goes back 50,000 years, leaving most of human history outside its reach.