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'Oldest' wall painting looks like modern art

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'Oldest' wall painting looks like modern art

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

Last Updated: 6:56pm BST 11/10/2007

French archaeologists have discovered an 11,000-year-old work of art in northern Syria which is the oldest known wall painting, even though it looks like a work by a modernist.

The two square-metre painting, in red, black and white, was found at the Neolithic settlement of Djade al-Mughara on the Euphrates, northeast of the city of Aleppo.

"It looks like a modernist painting," said Eric Coqueugniot, the team leader. "Some of those who saw it have likened it to work by (Paul) Klee. Through carbon dating we established it is from around 9,000 BC."

"We found another painting next to it, but that won't be excavated until next year. It is slow work," said Mr Coqueugniot, who works at France's National Centre for Scientific Research.

Rectangles dominate the ancient painting, which formed part of an adobe circular wall of a large mud brick house with a wooden roof. The site has been excavated since the early 1990s.

Mr Coqueugniot said the painting, which was dated using radiocarbon methods, will be moved to Aleppo's museum next year. Its red came from burnt hematite rock, crushed limestone formed the white and charcoal provided the black.

"There was a purpose in having the painting in what looked like a communal house, but we don't know it. The village was later abandoned and the house stuffed with mud," he said.

A large number of flints and weapons have been found at the site as well as human skeletons buried under houses.

"This site is one of several Neolithic villages in modern day Syria and southern Turkey. They seem to have communicated with each other and had peaceful exchanges," said Mr Coqueugniot.

Full story, Source: The Telegraph

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Wow .. Doesn't really look that old ..

It looks better than most of my painting ;P

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I agree that it didn't look that old, but I loved the history behind it....good find... :tu:

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It is very interesting that our ancestors shared a similar sense of color and beauty. :wub:

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just more proof there is nothing new in art just new ways of looking at it.

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I don't care for modern art in the slightest. But I wouldn't mind my wall being covered like this. Would be pretty funky. I wouldn't pay millions for it though.

It's amazing that it's so old and kept its colour so well. Suppose it was the luck of it beign hidden for so long.

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What's amazing to me is how creative these people wre, and the craftsmanship that went into these old works abnd houses that has allowed them to last for such a long time! Nothing nowadays would last 9,000 years :(

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