17,300-year-old Kimberley kangaroo becomes Australia’s oldest rock artwork

17,300-year-old Kimberley kangaroo becomes Australia’s oldest rock artwork

The Guardian

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Two-metre-long painting in Western Australia dated by analysing wasp nests and is the oldest work still in its original place

Scientists have confirmed that a painting of a kangaroo in a sandstone rock shelter in Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region is about 17,300 years old, making it the oldest known rock art in Australia.

The faded image, which is about two metres long, was dated using a radiocarbon technique that analysed wasp nests that were underneath and on top of the ochre-based paint.

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