Dating petroglyphs datingdanmark com
The oldest dates so far found by direct dating of art were obtained by geologist Alan Watchman for layers of pigment in two rock-shelters on Cape York in north Queensland, one of 25 000 years and one of almost 30000 years.
There is, however, indirect evidence going back a lot further, leading some archaeologists to argue that the rock art galleries in northern Australia are some of the oldest in the world by modern humans.
In northern Australia there are numerous sandstone rock-shelters.
Many of these have been used for camping and their floors are layered with charcoal and ash from camp fires, the remains of food such as shells and animal bones, stone tools and, very often, pieces of ochre.
The oldest currently known rock art is in India, at such sites as Auditorium Cave and Daraki-Chattan, but similar Acheulian rock art is believed to exist in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa.
Arrival of humans in Australia Archaeological evidence suggests that humans first arrived in Australia between 65,000 and 60,000 years ago.
Another AMS date on charcoal from 20 centimetres below this gave statistically the same date.
Nauwalabila rock shelter Nauwalabila shelter in Kakadu National park, Arnhem Land Stone tools and ochre are the toughest of this camping debris.
Techniques for dating have usually involved radio-carbon dating of material associated with the art, but there are also newer techniques now available including optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS).
These are described in the page on Dating Rock Art by Robert Bednarik.
Northern Australia is the most likely place for people to have travelled from south east Asia across the land bridges then sailed across the ocean gaps to northern Australia.
Archaeologists have now discovered early occupation sites at the three most probable entry areas – the Kimberley, Arnhem Land and Cape York Peninsula.