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The peopling of the Americas is both the oldest and most frequently researched question in American archaeology. Although rarely considered, early art has the potential to provide insight into questions that may be obscured by other kinds of evidence, particularly stone tools. What part did art play in the peopling of the Americas? This question is addressed starting with a reconsideration of rock varnish chronometrics as applied to Great Basin, eastern California, petroglyphs. This demonstrates, conservatively, that the petroglyph tradition began before 11, YBP, probably before 12, YBP, and potentially in the 14, years range. Comparison of these ages with evidence from other regions in the hemisphere demonstrates substantial artistic and stylistic variation in rock art by the Paleoindian period circa 10,, YBP.

In the mids he lived at an Aboriginal outstation in Kakadu National Park for 15 months. He has produced six films and published over academic and popular papers on rock art prehistoric portable art, body art, material culture, colour, cultural evolution, identity and contemporary Indigenous issues.

With respect to the peopling of the Americas, the conservative results demonstrate some key points. Mojave Desert rock art production was ongoing during the Paleoindian period, prior to 11, and probably as early as 12, years by: Obsidian can be dated via Obsidian hydration dating. Obsidian tools and flakes develop a 'rind' at a known rate over time, and measuring that rind can give you a date. This only works with obsidian, and there is no similar technique for other rock types. Mar 16,   New Technology For Dating Ancient Rock Paintings That's much less than the several grams of carbon needed with radiocarbon dating. "Because of the prior lack of methods for dating rock art.

In Decemberhe published the first comprehensive paper on the oldest rock art of Southeast Asia in the world-leading archaeological journal Antiquity with 13 colleagues from across the region.

Inhe co-authored a book that outlines a new strategy for the conservation of world rock art and co-edited a book that examines the contemporary importance of rock art in many parts of the world to be published in late He has also presented over academic conference papers as well as dozens of research seminars to museum and universities across the world and averages six public lectures each year.

He also developed the Eagle and Owl Project, a network for Southeast Asia researchers and archaeologists to share their work on rock art preservation, culture contact, cultural change and adaptation to shifting climate. However, one of the most important cts of his research endeavours has been to consult with Indigenous people before attempting field research and respect for their beliefs and traditions.

My research is consistently collaborative in nature, with Indigenous peoples involved in every stage as research partners.

A number of my joint-authored publications include Australian Aboriginal co-authors. Respect, he says is crucial, with so much to be learnt from the Indigenous oral history as well as their rock art libraries. His passion and skill in the ethnographic study and protection of rock art has led to many countries seeking his expertise. He has mentored and provided training courses in China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Cambodia, to assist researchers and communities protect and record their own individual heritage sites.

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His work in China culminated with him being awarded an honorary professorship with the Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology. This partnership of academics, researchers and celebrities sought to highlight rock art's importance to the nation as well as seeking support from business and philanthropists. They're like scientific documents as well as aesthetically powerful works of art. No one would let those disappear to industrial development.

Millions of dollars is spent on single sites in southern France. There's been a small group of academics that have studied certain areas, working closely with Aboriginal communities. That coupled with a geography class project on Australia peaked his interest in what would become a love affair of Australia's vast remote landscape and unravelling the great stories, thousands of years old, that were hidden in its rock art.

After volunteering at an archaeological excavation in Sydney in he asked around if anyone knew of a dig in remote NT. Luck would have it that one of Australia's leading archaeologists of the time, Professor Rhys Jones, was planning an expedition to the Northern Territory's new national park, Kakadu.

The rock art love affair had begun.

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Where we were excavating in the rock shelters there were lots of paintings on the wall," he says. That totally captured my imagination. His lifetime of work has also led to him being made a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

As its principal research scientist in he co-led an expedition into the ,hectare Wollemi National Park, just 65km from downtown Sydney. What they found reverberated around the world.

Generally speaking, radiocarbon dating cannot readily be used to date Australian indigenous rock art directly, because it is characterised by the use of ochre, an inorganic mineral pigment that contains no carbon. The paper authors explain that carbon found in the mineral crusts on the rock surface was most probably was formed by microorganisms. Jul 18,   In 14 C dating of pictographs, we use a low-temperature oxygen plasma coupled with high-vacuum techniques to selectively remove carbon-containing material in the paint without contamination from the rock substrate, even if limestone (CaCO 3).Cited by: Dec 07,   Generally speaking, radiocarbon dating cannot readily be used to date Australian indigenous rock art directly, because it is characterised by the use of .

They had re-discovered a series of rock overhangs, including one later named Eagle's Reach which contained hundreds of paintings, some thousands of years old and right up until European settlement. It had taken the team a day and half trek through almost impenetrable bushland to find the site and another two days to document and record the artworks.

One of the most stunning cts were galleries containing anthropomorphised eagles, the likes of which had never been recorded anywhere else.

More than individual motifs and stencils believed to date back to years were found at Eagle's Reach as well as charcoal drawings believed to be at least years old. Research into Wollemi, which is part of the World Heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains area, has resulted in more than Aboriginal sites being documented with many more still to be discovered. Along with four other scientists and local Aboriginal elder, Ronald Lamilami, they embarked on what was the first full recording of Djulirri's art.

The research funded under an Australian Research Council Project, Picturing Changealso utilized 2D and scanning to record rock art that had previously been discovered but not digitally recorded. However, while there the research team discovered even more unrecorded artwork, thousands of rock paintings previously unknown to science. The finding was of international significance as it told a story that shattered the "accepted history" of contact between Indigenous people and seafarers.

It had been argued that Aboriginal Australians were cut off from the world and that the British were the first significant arrivals. However, the team's discoveries told a much different story and that trading between the Macassans and Aborigines had begun centuries earlier.

Unlike European rock art such as the famous sites of Chauvet and Lascaux, which stopped thousands of years ago, the Arnhem Land rock art was still being made in some locations until the second half of the 20th Century. Djulirri contains images of 28 painted ships while in other areas in the Wellington Range they found more than 80 vessels depicted.

The galleries also contained a huge range of animals and encounters with other people, boxing scenes, sea captains, a priest with a clerical collar and depictions of warfare. Depictions of extinct Tasmanian tigers were recorded with one thylacine found in a style that is at least 15, years old.

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This was the first time such an ancient painting of a Thylacine had been found anywhere. Researchers are still documenting and recording finds, with the Djulirri site providing more than paintings, prints, stencils and beeswax figures, making it the largest pictograph pigment-based rock art site in Australia.

Radiometric Dating is Flawed!! Really?? How Old IS the Earth?

Another of the rare discoveries were stencils of whole birds, something not recorded anywhere else in the world. Precise dating of the Djulirri birds is in progress but the team believe them to be at least years or older.

Arnhem Land stencils of animals are the oldest surviving animal-related stencils from anywhere in the world.

Carbon dating rock art

There is this incredible volume of contact rock art that tells the story of encounter, contact, colonisation, invasion from an Indigenous perspective rather than the traditional history perspective of the colonisers. As a result, vandalism and graffiti and other human-made interventions have occurred damaging these national treasures.

Development and mining also pose threats to many sites. In one case more than 1, engraved boulders were removed to make way for the North West Shelf gas plant on Western Australia's Burrup Peninsula in the early s.

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As a result, numerous collaborative rock art papers, web sites and a series of short films were produced, along with the recording of the oldest dates for both contact and contact paintings. It included the Djulirri rock shelter gallery, which changed Australia's Indigenous contact history forever. Some of the motifs discovered in Arnhem Land are more than 15, years old. They tell of tell of interactions with different races, including Macassan sailor traders from Sulawesilong before British settlement.

In one amazing site the rock art library is thousand of years old but still modern enough to include missionaries, World War II-era ships, biplane and a bicycle. Its artwork also depicts warfare, violence, and culture clashes. The success of the Picturing Change project has led to related research in Malaysia, Thailand and China.

They feature alongside some of the world's most famous artworks by van Gogh, Rembrandt, Cezanne, Botticelli and da Vinci.

Rock Art Dating and the Peopling of the Americas

It was the first rock art gallery to be displayed by Google and is one of only two rock art projects showcased by Google. Google's Art Project also allows free online access as well the ability to view the collections at incredibly high-resolution.

It advocates a multidisciplinary, multicultural and scientific approach to rock art and cultural evolution research so that it can obtain a broader and deeper insight to the meaning and its place in the complex story of human evolution. They found the world's oldest hand stencil came not from Europe, but in fact from Indonesia from the rock art site of Leang Timpuseng on the island of Sulawesi.

Using this high-precision method known as U -series dating, samples from 14 paintings at seven caves were shown to range in age from 39, to 17, years ago. However, as the cave popcorn grew on top of the paintings, the U -series dates only provide minimum ages for the art, and so the rock art paintings could be much older. This is really exciting stuff. This shows that people were making rock art in our part of the world at the same time, perhaps even earlier than in Europe, and that really changes debates about the origin of art.

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What Maxime's research has shown is that the origin of art was not in Europe. The use of uranium dating had earlier been used in on China's rock art in mountainous northwest Yunnan.

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An extensive review also revealed naturalistic Jinsha River rock paintings to be unlike rock art from other parts of China, including Yunnan and Tibet, or countries nearby such as Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, India or Siberian Russia.

The research indicated that the rock art arose without direct influence or connection to other places adding further weight to the debate that rock art arose independently around the world. The study found the Jinsha River sites to be of a high scientific and heritage priority and that they faced similar risks from nature and human activities to those problems experienced in Australia and other parts of the world.

The Jinsha sites were threatened by a planned hydroelectric power plant. The study also aims to provide information about the identity, affinities and origins of the earliest modern inhabitants of East Asia as well as major insights into the peopling of Australia. Ongoing research aims to address crucial questions surrounding climate change from an historical perspective of a region that contains half the world's population.

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By uncovering information to add to the reconstruction of the long-term environmental history of the region it is hoped to better understand the human role and adaptation to climate change. While the fossils from the Red Deer Cave Maludong had been removed decades earlier their historical and evolutionary significance had not been explored.

Jun 19,   Archaeologists say carbon dating shows Aboriginal rock art discovered at Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory is among the oldest in the world. The art was rediscovered by University of Southern Queensland researchers. The find was made after the excavation last year of part. In 14 C dating of pictographs, we use a low-temperature oxygen plasma coupled with high-vacuum techniques to selectively remove carbon-containing material in the paint without contamination from. Professor Tacon and his teams have helped pioneer new dating systems that are more accurate and give a clearer time frame of when rock art was created including carbon dating of wax rock art. He also has encouraged younger scholars to develop other methods, such as Uranium-series dating for rock art.

They found the remains from the two caves matched each other-but failed to match any record of previously known ancestors of modern-day humans.

They ascertained the Red Deer Cave people had lived between 11, and 14, years ago, during a period of major ecological and climate change near the end of the Ice Age. The findings were significant to the understanding of human evolution in East Asia, an area which has been scarce on reliably classified and accurately dated fossils.

The research analysed 15 traits of a partial thighbone from the Red Deer Cave and found that it was very different to modern humans and that it may have come from a pre-modern human, Homo erectus or Homo habilis that lived 1. The analysis suggested the Red Deer Cave people may have co-existed with modern humans in China for about 60, years. While the importance of some discoveries is almost immediate others take years to be understood.

And so it was for the many Rainbow Serpent depictions that appear in rock art across of Australia.

Journal of Archaeology

Over the next decade he found the Rainbow Serpent at sites across Australia as well as learning of its importance through the oral history of many elders. The result stunned them, and was far more than they had ever anticipated.

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After comparing and coding paintings they then cross-referenced each image across attributes for computer analysis. They looked at attributes such as body shape, type of tail, edge type etc. In the study, Marvin W. Rowe points out that rock paintings, or pictographs, are among the most difficult archaeological artifacts to date. They lack the high levels of organic material needed to assess a pictograph's age using radiocarbon dating, the standard archaeological technique for more than a half-century.

Rowe describes a new, highly sensitive dating method, called accelerator mass spectrometry, that requires only 0.

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That's much less than the several grams of carbon needed with radiocarbon dating. The research included analyzing pictographs from numerous countries over a span of 15 years. It validates the method and allows rock painting to join bones, pottery and other artifacts that tell secrets of ancient societies, Rowe said.

Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Science News. Journal Reference : Marvin W.

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