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The global implications of the early surviving rock art of greater Southeast Asia

  • Paul S.C. Taçon (a1), Noel Hidalgo Tan (a2), Sue O’Connor (a2), Ji Xueping (a3) (a4), Li Gang (a5), Darren Curnoe (a6), David Bulbeck (a2), Budianto Hakim (a7), Iwan Sumantri (a8), Heng Than (a9), Im Sokrithy (a9), Stephen Chia (a10), Khuon Khun-Neay (a9) and Soeung Kong (a9)...

Abstract

The rock art of Southeast Asia has been less thoroughly studied than that of Europe or Australia, and it has generally been considered to be more recent in origin. New dating evidence from Mainland and Island Southeast Asia, however, demonstrates that the earliest motifs (hand stencils and naturalistic animals) are of late Pleistocene age and as early as those of Europe. The similar form of the earliest painted motifs in Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia suggests that they are the product of a shared underlying behaviour, but the difference in context (rockshelters) indicates that experiences in deep caves cannot have been their inspiration.

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