As far as Australian icons go, it’s hard to look past the kangaroo. Now it turns out the quintessential macropod is also the subject of Australia’s oldest-known rock painting.
- For the first time, traditional owners and researchers dated Australian paintings in the “naturalistic” style to between 17,000 and 13,000 years ago
- They extracted charcoal from fossilised wasp nests under and atop paint to calculate the minimum and maximum ages of the artworks
- The rock art, which is in the Kimberley, feeds into a bigger story that paints a picture of societal and cultural change
The 17,300-year-old roo, portrayed in dark mulberry paint on the ceiling of a rock shelter in the Kimberley, is one of a suite of animal depictions — and the odd…