Culture & Social

The Oldest Wall Painting in the World Found in Indonesia

The oldest wall painting in the world is found in the karst mountainous area of ​​Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The painting is in the form of rock images or figurative paintings with enigmatic works of art. The results of the study stated that the painting was 40,000 years old.

The caves in the mountainous karst region of Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat, indeed save the potential and assets inherited from prehistoric times, especially cave paintings.The caves store a series of ancient images such as human hands (stencils), animals, abstract symbols, and interconnected motifs.

The oldest rock picture known for its dating is a picture of an unidentified animal, possibly a wild bull species that is still found in the interior of the Borneo jungle.

One way to present an estimate of the age at which rock images are made is to use dates using the uranium-series method which is carried out on calcium carbonate samples collected from rock images. This age estimate is led by rock image dating specialists from Griffith University, Maxime Aubert.

Specialist in rock images from Arkenas, Adhi Agus Oktaviana, said that the footprints in Kalimantan appear to show the same age. “This suggests that the tradition of the Paleolithic rock picture first appeared in Borneo around 52,000 and 40,000 years ago,” he said in an official statement quoted by, Friday (11/09/2018).

The results of this calendar also indicate that there was a major change in the culture of Borneo rock art around 20,000 years ago indicated by the presence of new styles in rock art, including some human images, when the global climate in the Ice Age reaches the most extreme levels.

Dr. Adam Brumm and Maxime Aubert revealed articles in Nature published by Arkenas in 2014. In the article it was written that similar rock images appeared in Sulawesi 40,000 years ago. Sulawesi is located on the edge of Eurasia and is a very important “Stepping Stone” between Asia and Australia.

Minister of Education and Culture Muhadjir Effendy said that the official publication published by the Journal of Nature is one form of international recognition of Indonesia’s ancestral cultural heritage.

“And of course we have to be proud of that, one of them is by preservation efforts,” said the Minister of Education and Culture when giving a speech in the World’s oldest Wall Painting Launching, at Graha Utama Kemendikbud, Jakarta (11/08/2018).

In this study there were 15 people who joined, including 3 researchers from the National Archaeological Research Center, 1 person from the Bandung Institute of Technology, 4 people from Griffith University, 4 people from the East Kalimantan Cultural Heritage Preservation Hall, 1 person from Queensland University, and 2 people from the Australian Synchrotron Victoria. (rls / bas)


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