Cave painting depicts world's oldest cryptid
By T.K. Randall
December 13, 2019 · 17 comments
Therianthropes are part human, part animal. Image Credit: YouTube / Griffith University
A cave painting dating back 44,000 years shows the earliest known depiction of a supernatural creature.
Mythical creatures have been an important part of human culture for thousands of years and this most recently discovered example is thought to be the oldest yet.
Situated in a cave on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the 44,000-year-old drawing depicts a creature known as a therianthrope - a hybrid that is part human and part animal.
It was discovered by palaeontologists at Griffith University in Australia who dated the artwork by measuring the radioactive decay of uranium within mineral deposits on the cave wall.
"The images of therianthropes at [rock art site] Leang Bulu' Sipong 4 may also represent the earliest evidence for our capacity to conceive of things that do not exist in the natural world, a basic concept that underpins modern religion," said study co-leader Maxime Aubert.
Previously, the oldest known therianthrope depiction was Germany's 40,000-year-old 'Lion Man'.
"All of the major components of a highly advanced artistic culture were present in Sulawesi by 44,000 years ago, including figurative art, scenes, and therianthropes," said Aubert.
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