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Kangaroo Image in Northern Australia Dated to 17,000 Years Ago

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Australia Kangaroo ArtKIMBERLEY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA—Cosmos Magazine reports that an image of a kangaroo painted on the ceiling of a rock shelter in the Unghano clan estate, in northeastern Australia’s Balanggarra country, has been dated to more than 17,000 years old. Damien Finch of the University of Melbourne and his colleagues radiocarbon dated mud wasp nests located above and below the six-foot-long ochre image. Nests underneath the painting were dated to 17,500 years ago, while nests on top of the painting were dated to 17,100 years ago. Fragments of painted rock dated back some 42,000 years have been uncovered in excavations in northern Australia, Finch added. “While they could be pieces of paintings that have fallen from rock shelter walls, neither can be unambiguously classified as a rock-art painting,” he explained. To read about rock art depictions of kangaroo tracks in northern Australia, go to "Miniature Masterpieces."

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