Carbon dating rock art
According to archaeologist Dr Bruno David of Monash University the oldest reliably-dated rock engravings in Australia are 13,000 to 15000 years old, and are in Laura, Queensland."These were dated using radiocarbon dating of charcoal buried at the same depth of engravings," he says.The presentation of the dates will be preceded by a short discussion of the experimental procedure used in our laboratory (pigment sampling, chemical treatment, etc).The ages obtained so far have shown that the art of cave painting appeared early in the Upper Palaeolithic period, much earlier than previously believed.It isn't flows of lava, it is beds of material like pumice and ash that over a period of millions of years have agglomerated into surprisingly hard material," he said.Australia is blessed with many beautiful examples of Aboriginal cave paintings and engravings but what does science tell us about how old they are?
Presented below are some radiocarbon dates obtained at the 'Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement' for charcoal used in the execution of prehistoric paintings decorating two French caves: Cosquer and Chauvet.
Rock Art, as we use the term here, refers mostly to pictures or symbols left on rock surfaces by members of traditional cultures.
Some rock art was created at least 10’s of thousands of years ago, some more recently.
"There hasn't been enough archaeology done yet and not enough dating for anybody to finger some group that was known to be on the peninsula at that time," he said.
"We simply have not got enough information to do that." Eliminating Dates Crosby began exploring the region in 1967 and first published The Cave Paintings of Baja California: Discovering the Great Murals of an Unknown People in 1975.