Scientists from the University of Wollongong have clarified the dating of the mysterious rock carvings found in Australia, and came to the conclusion that the ancient authors in this way left records of the chaos reigning on the continent after the end of the ice age.
The discovery report is published by the journal Science. We are talking about cave paintings, which in the rocky area of Kimberley were discovered in 1891 by the Australian farmer Joseph Bradshaw. They represent some abstract "dancing figures" made with ocher. Nothing of the kind from the point of view of the plot has never and nowhere been found in rock art.
For many years, archaeologists did not know exactly who and when created these creations. Previous dates were very approximate, and the range of dates was very large. Until recently, it was believed that the drawings could be five or 17 thousand years old.
However, in a new study, scientists analyzed fossil wasp nests that insects built right on ancient paintings. The first such attempt was made in the 1990s. By the way, it was then that scientists came to the conclusion that the age of the drawings can reach 17 thousand years.
And only now it was possible to clarify the dating. The researchers did this thanks to tiny pieces of charcoal that the wasps used to build their nests. This coal has been radiocarbon dated.
It showed that the real age of the mysterious drawings is 12 thousand years, plus or minus 500 years.
It was also found that the style in which the drawings were made existed in this area for no more than one thousand years, and this is a very short period of time by the standards of history.
However, scientists have noticed that it is this period of time that coincides in chronology with the period of the rapid end of the ice age. The rise in sea levels led to the flooding of the northern part of Australia. Half of the Kimberley region is submerged.
This led the researchers to the conclusion that the ancient artists actually depicted the chaos that gripped the region then, leaving us with a kind of message and warning.