30 January 2023 The Future is the Product of the Past

Climate Change Negatively Impacts 45 000-year-old Cave Paintings in Indonesia

Cave paintings from 20,000 to 50,000 years ago in Indonesia are in danger of extinction due to climate change.

Indonesia is expected to see a temperature rise of around 0.8°C as a result of climate change by 2030. Furthermore, rainfall trends are expected to change, with the rainy season ending sooner and the duration of the rainy season shortening.

According to the report, which covered the last four centuries, degradation has intensified over the past four decades as increased greenhouse gas pollution from human activity changed the world’s atmosphere, especially in the tropics. A rise in global surface temperatures of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century—scientists’ ambitious scenario for global warming—would have serious consequences for the survival of rock art.

These changes seem to be both economically challenging and culturally upsetting.

Researchers led by archaeologist Jillian Huntley said in a paper published in Nature on Thursday that seasonal rainfall, combined with the drought, is threatening the survival of cave art in the Maros-Pangkep site on the island of Sulawesi. The region is home to the oldest recorded hand stencil as well as the probably earliest narrative scene in prehistoric history.

“In almost all sites containing early art, the hand stencils and figurative motifs are heavily affected by exfoliation of the limestone cave wall and ceiling surfaces that comprise the artists’ ‘canvas,’” the authors wrote. “A mounting body of quantitative and anecdotal evidence suggests that the rate of exfoliation is increasing.”

The paintings in Leang Tedongnge cave depict the Sulawesi warty pig, a species commonly featured in Indonesian rock art.
The paintings in Leang Tedongnge cave depict the Sulawesi warty pig, a species commonly featured in Indonesian rock art.

If the atmosphere heats and cools, the crystal salts on the rocks extend and compress, putting pressure on the paintings. That pressure can cause cracks or even lift flakes, separating them from the surface, a phenomenon known as exfoliation. The artworks’ deterioration is exacerbated by their location in the Australasian monsoon domain, the world’s most atmospherically volatile area.

The preservation of paintings discovered in the Maros-Pangkep region in the 1950s is of paramount importance as it is one of the oldest testimonies of prehistoric art in the world. With more than 300 caves discovered so far and new caves discovered every year, it rivals the ice age cave art in Western Europe.

It constitutes a “unique and irreplaceable record of early human artistic culture in a little-understood region,” the researchers said.

Earlier works are mulberry and red hand stencils of mostly wildlife, while more recent work is in black charcoal and contains brief depictions of human beings, domesticated animals like dogs, geometric and abstract symbols. One scene seems to depict many human figures drawing various creatures toward a waiting hunter, which historians claim is the earliest record of hunting strategy.

Source: Bnnbloomberg

Cover Photo: Figurative imagery found in a cave in Indonesia has been dated to 43,900 years ago, which is significantly older than comparable art from Europe. Photo: Adhi Agus Oktaviana

Banner
Related Post

Archaeologists find 4 Umayyad epigraphs in the ancient city Knidos

24 May 2022

24 May 2022

Archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Knidos connected to Datça District of Muğla province in western Turkey have unearthed...

Young Maya Maize God’s Severed Head found in Palenque

4 June 2022

4 June 2022

Archaeologists from the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), an approximately 1,300-year-old sculpture of the head of the Young...

3000-year-old clay figurine discovered in Germany may be a prehistoric water goddess

14 July 2022

14 July 2022

Archaeologists have discovered a rare clay figurine thought to represent a prehistoric water goddess in the Schweinfurt region of Germany....

The Worst Torture Device in History “Brazen Bull”

2 February 2021

2 February 2021

Agrigentum Tyranny today is in the provincial borders of Agrigento in the Sicily Autonomous Region in the southwest of Sicily....

Excavation in Larissa finds a Hellenistic era sanctuary

27 November 2021

27 November 2021

The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport reported on Friday the discovery of ancient Greek and Hellenistic era structures at...

Anthropologists say humans have been using personal ornaments to communicate about themselves without the fuss of conversation – for millennia

24 September 2021

24 September 2021

Anthropologists believe that for millennia, individuals have used personal decorations to communicate about themselves without the hassle of dialogue. They...

New Study Finds, 4,000-Year-Old Toolkit Unearthed Near Stonehenge Was Used to Work Gold

16 December 2022

16 December 2022

Archaeologists from the Universities of Leicester and Southampton in the United Kingdom recently published a study claiming that enigmatic artifacts...

Archaeologists discover a well-planned new urban precinct in the Egyptian settlement of Marea

2 August 2021

2 August 2021

Archaeologists excavating the ancient port settlement and cemetery of Marea in Egypt have revealed that a significant part of the...

Runic Alphabet Symbols in the Tombs Found in the Excavations in Istanbul

23 May 2021

23 May 2021

In the excavations carried out by the Istanbul Archeology Museums in the area where the metro station will be built...

Antikythera underwater excavation digs up new discoveries “huge marble head”

20 June 2022

20 June 2022

The second phase of underwater archaeological research (May 23 to June 15, 2022) on the Antikythera shipwreck resulted in the...

A 500-year-old mural linked to an Aztec god was found under layers of paint in Mexican Church

15 October 2022

15 October 2022

A mural of an Aztec rabbit God of alcohol is not something anyone expects to see inside a church, but...

A new study reveals the Achaemenid Kingdom paid its workers silver

21 September 2021

21 September 2021

A new study on inscribed clay tablets that were used in the treasury archives of the Achaemenid Empire revealed that...

Archaeologists may have uncovered a 13th-century castle in Shropshire

7 August 2021

7 August 2021

Archaeologists have been working on a mound of land in Wem, Shropshire, that belongs to Soulton Hall, Elizabethan mansion and...

1300-year-old baby footprints found in excavations at the ancient city of Assos in western Turkey

3 September 2021

3 September 2021

1300 years ago, a baby stepped on baked bricks prepared to make a bread baking oven. The baby was probably...

A 3800-year-old cylinder seal was discovered at Turkey’s Tepebag Mound excavations

8 July 2022

8 July 2022

In the 2022 excavations of Tepebag Mound, located around Taşköprü, the center of Adana province in Turkey’s Mediterranean Region, a...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *