By Jessie Yeung, CNN

A painting of a kangaroo in Western Australia is the oldest known rock art in the country, according to scientists, who say radiocarbon-dating analysis shows it was created more than 17,000 years ago.

The kangaroo depiction was among a number of rock paintings first recorded by researchers in the 1990s in the Kimberley region, which holds one of the world’s largest collections of indigenous rock art. Scientists at several universities and research agencies worked with local indigenous leaders to analyze the paintings, with their findings published Monday in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

Art painted on rocks are some of the earliest recorded attempts at human communication, with some of the oldest examples of animal depictions found in Sulawesi, Indonesia. However, it has proven a challenge to date paintings older than 6,000 years, since organic material in the paint pigment — which is crucial for radiocarbon dating — is hard to find.




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