"A painting beneath a wasp nest must be older than the nest, and a painting on top of a nest must be younger than the nest," Mr Finch said. "If you date enough of the nests, you build up a pattern and can narrow down an age range for paintings in a particular style."
Lack of organic matter in the pigment used to create the art had previously ruled out radiocarbon dating. But the University of Melbourne and ANSTO scientists were able to use dates on 24 mud wasp nests under and over the art to determine both maximum and minimum age constraints for paintings in the Gwion style.
Scientists put the Gwion Gwion art period around 12,000 years old.
"This is the first time we have been able to confidently say Gwion style paintings were created around 12,000 years ago," said Ph.D. student Damien Finch, from the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne. "No one has been able present the scientific evidence to say that before."
One wasp nest date suggested one Gwion painting was older than 16,000 years, but the pattern of the other 23 dates is consistent with the Gwion Gwion period being 12,000 years old.
A team of archaeologists discovered previously unknown prehistoric wall carvings in a cave in northern Spain, some of which are believed to be 15,000 years old. Among the carvings are depictions of horses, bulls, and deer, as well as more abstract patterns, all of which are carved into a stretch of the Cave of Font Major, a nearly two-mile-long system of caverns located 60 miles outside of Barcelona.
Some 25,000 years ago, a circular wall of bone and ivory rose like a macabre mirage from a snowbound plain 500 kilometers south of present-day Moscow. The ring—built from the bones of at least 60 mammoths—was thought to shelter people living on the treeless expanse during the coldest part of the last ice age. Now, a new study reveals the ring, discovered in 2014, is 12.5 meters in diameter—likely too large to have been roofed. Archaeologists also failed to find any remains from animals other than mammoths, making it unlikely that humans lived there for any length of time.
The ring, found at a site called Kostenki, is the oldest such structure found in Russia. It’s about 3000 years older than two similar, smaller mammoth bone rings found at the same site almost 40 years ago.
Although it’s not clear why nomadic hunter-gatherers would have built such a permanent, labor-intensive structure, most scientists assumed they assembled it from mammoth bones because the region had precious few trees during the ice age. So it came as a bit of a surprise when workers at the site sifted out hundreds of bits of charcoal, dated to about 25,000 years ago, from the soil.
Hello 2D Person Below wrote: »
Siberia must be a treasure trove. Imagine what we'd find beneath all that snow and ice.
Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.
Adam Khor wrote: »
Incredible cave paintings from the Pleistocene discovered in the Colombian Amazon stretch for about 8 miles and depict what appear to be both extant and extinct animals including equids, gomphotheres (elephant-like beasts), and what could be a giant ground sloth, among others.https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/nov/29/sistine-chapel-of-the-ancients-rock-art-discovered-in-remote-amazon-forest?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
Wibbs wrote: »
Are there new sculptures found AK, because the above ones were found around 90 years ago.