This little piggy wentwee, wee, wee into prehistory.
Archaeologists believe they have discovered the oldest painting of an animal in human history — a portly pig drawn in ocher on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, at a site known as Leang Tedongnge.
Superficial mineral testing has revealed the doodle, originally discovered in 2017 by a local researcher, is at least 45,500 years old, but the task of dating has taken years, according to the new studypublishedin Science Advances.
The drawing is actually a small drove of pigs, although one image stands out among the rest: a large, warty swine on the run, its size indicated by a pair of hands reaching toward its meaty backside.
It’s possible that the drawing was completed over a number of years, suggested by the different pigments used to complete the artwork. A nearby cave, Leang Balangajia 1, boasts its own hog art, dating back at least 32,000 years. Ancient tools designed for ocher processing had been previously discovered on Sulawesi Island, hinting that these tools could have been used to create the drawings.