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02-Sep-2016 01:51

A new dating method finally is allowing archaeologists to incorporate rock paintings — some of the most mysterious and personalized remnants of ancient cultures — into the tapestry of evidence used to study life in prehistoric times. 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."These were dated using radiocarbon dating of charcoal buried at the same depth of engravings," he says.Beyond engravings, the oldest reliably-dated rock art in Australia is 28,000 years old.but it's an inference." Pillans and colleague Keith Fifield have argued that rocks bearing Aboriginal engravings on the Burrup Peninsula have the potential to preserve the engravings for 50,000 to 60,000 years, but they have done no direct dating of the engravings themselves.According to archaeologist Dr Bruno David of Monash University the oldest reliably-dated rock engravings in Australia are 13,000 to 15000 years old, and are in Laura, Queensland.

For this reason, it’s preferable to date objects using multiple methods, rather than relying on one single test.

"You often hear people talk about the oldest continuous culture in the world being Aboriginal culture," says geologist Professor Brad Pillans of the Australian National University.

"Many archaeologists have thought rock art has been a part of Aboriginal culture since earliest times...

These findings were recently published in EPJ Plus by Mariaelenea Fedi of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Florence, Italy, and colleagues.

Previously, art historians had called upon scientists to compare the alleged Léger painting from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, in Venice, Italy, with an authentic painting of the 'Contraste de formes' series belonging to the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation in New York, USA.

For this reason, it’s preferable to date objects using multiple methods, rather than relying on one single test."You often hear people talk about the oldest continuous culture in the world being Aboriginal culture," says geologist Professor Brad Pillans of the Australian National University."Many archaeologists have thought rock art has been a part of Aboriginal culture since earliest times...These findings were recently published in EPJ Plus by Mariaelenea Fedi of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Florence, Italy, and colleagues.Previously, art historians had called upon scientists to compare the alleged Léger painting from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, in Venice, Italy, with an authentic painting of the 'Contraste de formes' series belonging to the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation in New York, USA.For example, a steel spearhead cannot be carbon dated, so archaeologists might perform testing on the wooden shaft it was attached to.