By Tim Binnall
Archaeologists researching a cave system in Borneo believe that they have discovered the oldest painting of an animal ever found. An examination of the image reportedly determined that it is around 40,000 years old. Although they are uncertain as to what specific type of creature is depicted in the drawing, experts surmised that the cow-like beast is likely a banteng, which is a type of cattle native to the island.
Alongside the animal painting, researchers also documented a number of hand stencils, including one that could be nearly 52,000 years old. Intriguingly, the archeologists behind the study say that there are 'newer' drawings in the cave system which depict human beings, but they were made about 20,000 years after the banteng painting and hand stencils.
This raises the thought-provoking question of why ancient people went from drawing animals to depicting humans as a similar transition has been observed in cave art at other locations around the world. While we may never know the answer to that mystery, archaeologists say that there could be even older drawings to be found in the cave system which could shed light on the ancient artists who created them.