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:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, ... the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... competition will focus on developing health and wellness apps ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon ... The world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and ... and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial ... and others), by end use industry (government and law ... financial and banking, and others), and by region ( ... , Asia Pacific , and the ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 ... Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video ... and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 ... 2017 and 2022. The base year considered for the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... technology for discovery of antibody therapeutics from millions-diverse immune repertoires, announces launch of ... in San Diego, California. Dave Johnson, PhD, CEO of GigaGen, will present on ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... June 16, 2017 , ... ... commercialization, has just announced two more sessions of its “From the Helm” Webinar ... on the world of online templates for design control exercises. Led by David ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... The newest exhibition at the ... creative experimentation and interdisciplinary collaboration. Feature Creep, a solo exhibition by Maximillian Lawrence, ... will be held at EKG, located at 3600 Market Street in Philadelphia, on ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... Bangkok, Thailand (PRWEB) , ... June 14, 2017 ... ... Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS) announces that they’re co-hosting a ... 19-22, 2017. , BIO, the largest biotech industry gathering in the world, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: