Navigation Links
Giant rats lead scientists to ancient face carvings
Date:2/11/2011

Ancient stone faces carved into the walls of a well-known limestone cave in East Timor have been discovered by a team searching for fossils of extinct giant rats.

The team of archaeologists and palaeontologists were working in Lene Hara Cave on the northeast tip of East Timor.

"Looking up from the cave floor at a colleague sitting on a ledge, my head torch shone on what seemed to be a weathered carving," CSIRO's Dr Ken Aplin said.

"I shone the torch around and saw a whole panel of engraved prehistoric human faces on the wall of the cave.

"The local landowners with whom we were working were stunned by the findings. They said the faces had chosen that day to reveal themselves because they were pleased by the field work we were doing."

The Lene Hara carvings, or petroglyphs, are frontal, stylised faces each with eyes, a nose and a mouth. One has a circular headdress with rays that frame the face.

Uranium isotope dating by colleagues at the University of Queensland revealed the 'sun ray' face to be around 10,000 to 12,000 years old, placing it in the late Pleistocene. The other faces could not be dated but are likely to be equally ancient.

Lene Hara cave has been visited by archaeologists and rock art specialists since the early 1960s to study its rock paintings, which include hand stencils, boats, animals, human figures and linear decorative motifs. The age of the pigment art in Lene Hara is currently unknown but a fragment of limestone with traces of embedded red ochre was dated previously by Professor Sue O'Connor of The Australian National University to over 30,000 years ago.

Although stylised engravings of faces occur throughout Melanesia, Australia and the Pacific, the Lene Hara petroglyphs are the only examples that have been dated to the Pleistocene. No other petroglyphs of faces are known to exist anywhere on the island of Timor.

"Recording and dating the rock art of Timor should be a priority for future research, because of its cultural significance and value in understanding the development of art in our past," Professor O'Connor said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrea Wild
Andrea.Wild@csiro.au
61-415-199-434
CSIRO Australia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers discover giant crayfish species right under their noses
2. Oil giant plans new platform near feeding ground of critically endangered whale
3. Old-growth forests are what giant pandas need
4. Giants among us: Paper explores evolution of the world’s largest mammals
5. Raising giant insects to unravel ancient oxygen
6. Efforts underway to rescue vulnerable bananas, giant swamp taro, other Pacific Island crops
7. New study shows how giant tortoises, alligators thrived in High Arctic 50 million years ago
8. Greenland glacier gives birth to giant iceberg
9. Extinct giant shark nursery discovered in Panama
10. A shrunken giant
11. Giant sequoias yield longest fire history from tree rings
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/21/2016)... Nov. 21, 2016   Neurotechnology , a ... technologies, today announced that the MegaMatcher On Card ... submitted for the NIST Minutiae Interoperability Exchange ... the mandatory steps of the evaluation protocol. ... continuing test of fingerprint templates used to establish ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... Md. , Nov. 15, 2016  Synthetic ... company developing therapeutics focused on the gut microbiome, ... offering of 25,000,000 shares of its common stock ... common stock at a price to the public ... proceeds to Synthetic Biologics from the offering, excluding ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics was once again ... of the fastest-growing trade shows during the Fastest 50 Awards ... Las Vegas . Winners are ... of the following categories: net square feet of paid exhibit ... 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 out of 50 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... 2016 , ... DuPont Industrial Biosciences (DuPont) and Archer Daniels ... Award from Platts Global Energy for their platform technology to produce a ... the 18th Platts Global Energy Awards, held in New York on Thursday, Dec. 8. ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... 2016 The research report by ... in the  Global Label-Free Array Systems Market  accounted for ... 2015. Players such as Biacore, Agilent Technologies, ForteBio, Molecular ... the global market due to their unmatched product portfolio ... upgrades and timely product launches are expected to be ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE: CO ... leading provider of cord blood collection, laboratory testing, hematopoietic stem ... results of its 2016 Annual General Meeting, which was held ... China . At the Annual General ... KPMG Huazhen LLP as the independent auditors of the Company ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... , December 9, 2016 According to a ... (Primer, Probe, Custom, Predesigned, Reagent Equipment), Application (Research, PCR, Gene, DNA, ... 2021" published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is expected to reach ... at a CAGR of 10.6% during the forecast period. ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: