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 Archaeologist discovers Aboriginal rock art made 28,000 years ago in Northern Territory cave

An archaeologist says he has found the oldest piece of rock art in Australia and one of the oldest in the world: an Aboriginal work created 28,000 years ago in an outback cave.
The dating of one of the thousands of images in the Northern Territory rock shelter, known as Nawarla Gabarnmang, will be published in the next edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

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Aboriginal Rock Art Under Threat

Aboriginal elders call the ancient paintings and engravings that dot the landscape their history books. But while Australia has some of the world's most outstanding and abundant rock art, experts say half of it could disappear over the next 50 years unless it is better protected. Urban development, mining and vandalism ~ as well as erosion and other natural processes ~ are among threats to the art found in rock shelters, often in remote areas. Some sites have already been bulldozed, or had paintings defaced or carved out. Many aboriginal communities have lost their connection with the art, which their ancestors looked after and retouched over generations.
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Ancient rock art's colours come from microbes

A particular type of ancient rock art in Western Australia maintains its vivid colours because it is alive, researchers have found.
While some rock art fades in hundreds of years, the "Bradshaw art" remains colourful after at least 40,000 years.
Jack Pettigrew of the University of Queensland in Australia has shown that the paintings have been colonised by colourful bacteria and fungi.

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A red ochre depiction of two giant extinct birds on an overhanging rock in northern Australia could be the one of the oldest paintings in the world.
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The Genyornis - a bird which had a broad, rounded beak and was about twice the size of an emu - became extinct about 40,000 years ago.

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Vandals have defaced sacred Aboriginal sites, including rock art at Uluru and rock faces in Kakadu National Park, Australia, said reports on Tuesday.
Two rock faces in the heritage-listed Kakadu National Park were graffitied in the last seven days however Shannon Murray, from the Kakadu visitor services team, said no rock art in the park - which is among the oldest in the world - had been impacted.

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Missouri cave paintings give ancient insight
The story begins, as many do, with curiosity. About 20 years ago, two men exploring "Picture Cave" found paintings on the rock walls and sent hand-drawn reproductions to archaeologists Jim Duncan and Carol Diaz-Granados.
The figures on the walls of the cave in east-central Missouri now provide crucial details of the prehistoric timeline of the region. And there's recent evidence that the paintings in Picture Cave predate the Cahokia Mounds as the birthplace of what archaeologists refer to as the Mississippian period.

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A new exhibition by Maori artist Ross Hemera provides new interpretations of traditional Maori rock drawings.
The exhibition, titled Manu Atua Birdman of Waitaha - opens today at the Kura Contemporary and Ethnic Art Gallery in Wellington.
It features nine works, including seven wall sculptures in aluminium and kauri, that explore the birdman imagery in rock drawings in North Canterbury and South Otago, mostly on limestone outcrops.

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Malcolm Turnbull will be fighting to keep his Sydney seat of Wentworth in the coming election, but he could be distracted from his campaigning by two pressing issues at opposite ends of the country.
While the federal Environment Minister has to decide whether to give the go-ahead to the Gunns pulp mill in the Tamar Valley in Tasmania, he is also the target of an environmental campaign from Western Australia's Pilbara region.
The Friends of Australian Rock Art are worried about recent vandalism of artworks on WA's Burrup Peninsula. The group has taken out an advertisement in today's Wentworth Courier community newspaper in Sydney.

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Aboriginal art in Australia is booming and improving the lives of poor black communities, but unscrupulous dealers are ripping off artists and fraud from China and India is undermining the industry.

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One of the last examples of ancient rock carvings on the northern Taranaki coast has been destroyed by heavy seas.
The carvings have up until now been preserved in seaside caves at Tongaporutu, but locals discovered they had been destroyed after recent high seas undermined the cave's edges.
Maori believe the carvings are thousands of years old and many locals remember them from when they played in the caves as children.

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