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Daraki-Chattan is one of the richest sites for cupules in the world.Some archaeologists argue that cupules shouldn’t be counted as art because they may have had a utilitarian purpose.Ostrich shells have been an important tool for many early cultures, and decorating them became an important form of early self-expression for humans.In 2010, researchers at the Diepkloof Rock Shelter in South Africa discovered a large cache of 270 ostrich egg fragments that bore decorative and symbolic designs, created by the Howiesons Poort hunter-gatherer culture.But the real kicker of the Sulawesi Caves is a handprint painting, now known to be the oldest ever discovered, at a minimum of 39,900 years old.The stencil was part of a series of 12 painted on the rock face.They may have been used as grinding basins or for ceremonial purposes, as some cultures still use them today.However, as they are one of the most numerous forms of prehistoric carvings and served a wide range of purposes, it is reasonable to believe that at least some served an artistic or aesthetic purpose.
The older it is, the more precious it is, because of what it can teach us about people long gone.
Because the patterns changed over time, and because the sample size was at last large enough, archaeologists were able to establish the existence of design traditions among Stone Age cultures, at least as far as engraving is concerned.
There is evidence of enlarged holes carved into the eggshell that shows that the ostrich shells were used as the prehistoric version of water canteens.
The paintings at the Sulawesi Caves of Indonesia contain one of the oldest representative paintings ever created.
At 35,400 years old, they’re nearly as old as several ancient examples of nonrepresentative art, including the older El Castillo Cave Paintings (40,800 years old) and the Chauvet cave paintings (37,000 years old).
The figurine was discovered between two layers of volcanic stone and soil, dated between 233,000 and a mind-boggling 800,000 years old.