Ancient Rock Art found in Australia
While searching for the fossils of an old giant rat species, scientists from Australia discover some ancient faces called petroglyphs looking back at them from the walls of a cave in East Timor. These petroglyphs were found in a large cave on the northeast tip of East Timor and are thought to be more than 10,000 years old. Dr Ken Aplin of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), based in Canberra, saw the drawings first. Prior to this time, there had been many explorations in this cave by archaeologists and even rock specialists, but nobody had ever seen this wall of prehistoric faces.
Dr. Aplin and his group were in the Lene Hara cave which has always produced great finds of fossils and rock art. These petroglyphs that they had discovered had very distinguishable faces with eyes, noses and mouths. One face had a round headdress with rays that encompassed its head.
Along with the CSIRO team, a group of scientists from the University of Queensland used special techniques to study the petroglyphs and found that they were between 10,000 and 12,000 years old. This would put their origins in the Pleistocene period. The special technique used to date these artifacts was the uranium isotope dating process, which some scientists believe to be a bit premature.
Other fossils and rocks that have been found in the Lene Hara cave are believed to be around 30,000 years old. Throughout all of the Melanesian islands of the Pacific and in Australia, many fossils and petroglyphs have been discovered, but only the ones found in the Lene Hara cave are known to have come from this Pleistocene period.
Dr. Aplin and his CSIRO team are still in pursuit of fossils from the large extinct rat they were looking for that began their other findings. This illusive rat is known to have been the size of a small dog.