A Journey to the Oldest Cave Paintings in the World

Cave Paintings are the sketches done on walls and ceilings of a cave during the prehistoric time. These drawings are dated back to about 40,000 years ago. Some believe that drawings were done to communicate with each other and some think that it had a religious or ceremonial purpose. It is quite mesmerizing that most of the cave paintings from all over the world are similar and most of them had animal drawings in them, and humans were depicted with hand portraits.

Oldest Cave Paintings

The following are some of the oldest cave paintings in the world:

Maros, Indonesia:

One of the earliest cave paintings in the world was found in the caves in the district of Maros, Indonesia. The sketches are about 35,000 years old, and it belonged to the Palaeolithic period. The site is located approximately 12km from the town of Maros. A depiction of a babirusa ( pig-deer) is there in the cave, and it is about 34,000 years old. At the entrance of the cake, there are about 26 red and white hand stencils. The white hands must have been painted by placing the hand up against the wall and blowing red ochre around it. The red hands must have been painted by immersing the hand into red colored solution and then blowing a white solution over it. The handprints were drawn to symbolize the power to ward off evil forces and wild animals.

Lascaux Paintings:

The Lascaux caves have some of the most famous and impressive paintings in the world. The sketches are estimated to be about 17,000 years old and most of this artwork at done deep inside the cave and thus they must have done it with the help of fire to produce light. Some of the famous paintings include the Great Hall of the Bulls where bulls, horses, and deer.

Though the site is permanently closed to the public, the French government has made a replica of the original for the tourists to see.

Altamira Cave:

The Altamira Cave is in Spain, and the paintings in the cave were so astounding that many raised questions about the authenticity of the drawings in the cave. There were images of horses, bison, and handprints in Altamira.

Kakadu Rock Paintings:

Kakadu National Park contains one of the best Aboriginal art sites in Australia. There are about 5000 art sites that have been discovered and the paintings in the site range from 20,000 years to 1500 years. The caves have some of the best X-ray art as the Aboriginals drew even the skeletons of the animals.

Tadrart Acacus:

Tadrart Acacus is located in the Sahara Desert, and the rock paintings are dated from 12,000BC to 100 AD. The sketches on the rock are a perfect example of the climate change that has happened. Sahara desert used to be surrounded by greenery and filled with wild animals.