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Year in review: Asian cave art got an early start

Hand stencils revise painting history

By
9:00am, December 16, 2014

Hand stencils found in Indonesia were painted more than 39,000 years ago, researchers determined in 2014. That age makes the cave art nearly as old as Europe’s earliest rock art. 

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Ancient cave art went global in 2014. Scientists reported that Stone Age cave painting began at about the same time in Southeast Asia as in Europe. These findings suggest the need to rethink a decades-old conviction that Western Europeans cornered the market on creativity with their cave paintings about 40,000 years ago, millennia before groups elsewhere started drawing on rock walls.

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