F Rosa Rubicondior: More Bad News for Creationists - Australia's Oldest Rock Painting is 17,000 Years Old!

Tuesday 23 February 2021

More Bad News for Creationists - Australia's Oldest Rock Painting is 17,000 Years Old!

Traditional owner, Ian Waina, recording the estimated 17,300 year old painting of a kangaroo found in a hard-to-access rock cluster in the northeast Kimberley region.
Image: Peter Veth,
Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation
Australia's oldest rock painting is a kangaroo | Melbourne University News

A group of rock art experts from the Universities of Melbourne and \Western Australia and the Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation have dated a rock painting of a kangaroo to between 17,500 and 17,100 years old.

The painting is typical of the artistic style from what has become known as the 'Irregular Infill Animal' or 'Naturalistic' period, chara cterised by life-like and life-sized drawings and paintings, but this is the oldest so far dated.

This makes the painting Australia’s oldest known in-situ painting. This is a significant find as through these initial estimates, we can understand something of the world these ancient artists lived in. We can never know what was in the mind of the artist when he/she painted this piece of work more than 600 generations ago, but we do know that the Naturalistic period extended back into the Last Ice Age, so the environment was cooler and dryer than today.

We radiocarbon dated three wasp nests underlying the painting and three nests built over it to determine, confidently, that the painting is between 17,500 and 17,100 years old; most likely 17,300 years old.

Dr Damien Finch, co-author
University of Melbourne School of Earth Sciences

This iconic kangaroo image is visually similar to rock paintings from islands in South East Asia dated to more than 40,000 years ago, suggesting a cultural link – and hinting at still older rock art in Australia.

Dr Sven Ouzman, co-author
University Western Australia School of Social Sciences

It’s important that Indigenous knowledge and stories are not lost and continue to be shared for generations to come. The dating of this oldest known painting in an Australian rock shelter holds a great deal of significance for Aboriginal people and Australians and is an important part of Australia’s history.

Cissy Gore-Birch
Chair of the Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation
The painting is from the Kimberley region of Western Australia and has stylistic connections with those found on islands in South East Asia which have been dated to more than 40,000 years old. It has been preserved by rock shelters known as the Kimberley galleries on the Unghango clan estate in Balanggarra country, above the Drysdale River.

Key to the dating were the nests of mud wasps, some of which were under the paint and some over it. Radiocarbon-dating three mud wasp nests from under the painting and three from over it, the result gave maximum and minimum dates for the painting itself.

The group's findings are published today in the journal, Nature Human Behaviour, sadly behind an expensive paywall. In their Abstract to the paper the authors state:
These initial results suggest that paintings in this style proliferated between 17,000 and 13,000 years ago. Notably, one painting of a kangaroo is securely dated to between 17,500 and 17,100 years on the basis of the ages of three overlying and three underlying wasp nests. This is the oldest radiometrically dated in situ rock painting so far reported in Australia.
As usual, without the slightest effort or intention on the part of the researchers, once again we have a scientific paper which utterly refutes the Biblical narrative so firmly believed in by Creationists. Not only are there painting far older than they believe the Universe to be, but the paintings would have been utterly destroyed by their mythical global flood, along with any trace of the mud wasp nests that were used to date them with. The Australian Aboriginals appear to have lived through this supposed genocidal flood too!

This is, naturally, a major problem with a counter-factual belief based on nothing more substantial than the ignorant guesses of primitive people from the fearful infancy of our species from before we invented science. Thousands of years before the Bronze Age Palestinian hill farmers were recording their mixture of Mesopotamian and Canaanite origin myths, ancient people had left Africa, travelled round the southern shores of Asia and found their way to Australia where they established flourishing cultures and artistic styles, as a true record of where and when they lived.

What they thought and what, if any, religious superstitions inspired these works of art is, of course, unknown to us because, unlike science, religions and associated imaginary gods can never be re-discovered when lost.

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