Research press release





今回Maxime Aubertたちの研究グループは、Lubang Jeriji Saleh洞窟で見つかった、正体不明の動物が描かれた赤燈色の大型壁画を調べた。Aubertたちは、ウラン系列分析を行って、この壁画の上に成長した石灰岩の塊の年代を測定した。その結果、この壁画が少なくとも4万年前のものであり、最古の形象壁画になることを明らかにした。


The world’s earliest-known figurative painting is identified in a paper published online this week in Nature. The cave painting, from Borneo, depicts an indeterminate animal and dates back to at least 40,000 years ago.

The limestone caves of Borneo’s East Kalimantan province contain thousands of rock art images, grouped into three phases: red-orange paintings of animals (mainly wild cattle) and hand stencils; younger, mulberry-coloured hand stencils and intricate motifs, alongside depictions of humans; and a final phase of human figures, boats and geometric designs in black pigment. However, the exact timing of these works had been unclear.

Maxime Aubert and colleagues studied a large, red-orange coloured painting of an indeterminate animal in the Lubang Jeriji Saleh cave. Using a uranium-series analysis, the authors date the limestone crusts that have grown over the art. They determine a minimum age for the underlying painting of 40,000 years, making it the oldest-known figurative depiction.

Two other red-orange hand stencils from the same cave have minimum ages of 37,200 years, and a third had a maximum age of 51,800 years old. From these timings, the authors conclude that rock art locally developed in Borneo between around 52,000 and 40,000 years ago, at roughly the same time as the earliest known art from Europe attributed to modern humans. They additionally date several paintings from the mulberry-coloured art phase to between 21,000-20,000 years ago. This later phase is evidence for a cultural change from depicting large animals to consistently representing the human world.

doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0679-9

「Nature 関連誌注目のハイライト」は、ネイチャー広報部門が報道関係者向けに作成したリリースを翻訳したものです。より正確かつ詳細な情報が必要な場合には、必ず原著論文をご覧ください。

メールマガジンリストの「Nature 関連誌今週のハイライト」にチェックをいれていただきますと、毎週最新のNature 関連誌のハイライトを皆様にお届けいたします。