This is the world's oldest known painting of an animal

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/01/14/this-is-the-worlds-oldest-known-painting-of-an-animal.html

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It’s the oldest known, but it’s also solid evidence that art techniques were already well developed at the time this was made. That’s not just a drawing; it’s a stylized drawing. The artist had already developed or learned a visual shorthand.

I’d give anything to see the art pieces that haven’t survived. I bet they decorated everything back then.

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So either before we left Africa or … after. Well, I guess there’s no arguing with that.

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I guess it could be a pig, or if you look at it the other way, it could be the original Angry Bird :tm:

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I think it is striking that humans around the world, probably independently started making stylized drawings of things, particularly animals. There had to be a specific development in our minds which triggered this behaviour. For me, this drive for both abstraction and expression is behind mathematics and software, and it probably started hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Also I noticed the hand stencils in the cave, right beside the painting. Australian Aboriginal people do that too.

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If you can watch Steve Backshall’s Expedition episode on Indonesian cave artwork, you can see why there is still artwork to be discovered.

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Of course there was not a lot of television back then…and there wasn’t even any Hollywood…and no paper for that matter, but plenty of charcoal, which might explain why so little art remains.