From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Leang Sakapao Caves
Mains level : Not Much
Researchers have reported that Pleistocene-era rock paintings dating back to 45,000-20,000 years ago in cave sites in southern Sulawesi, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, are weathering at an alarming rate.
Have you ever found the mention of ‘Altamira Caves’ in your NCERTs?
Leang Sakapao Caves
- This cave art of Sulawesi is much older than the prehistoric cave art of Europe.
- The artwork in the area includes what is believed to be the world’s oldest hand stencil (almost 40,000 years ago), created by pressing the hand on a cave wall and spraying wet red-mulberry pigments over it.
- A nearby cave features the world’s oldest depiction of an animal, a warty pig painted on the wall 45,500 years ago.
Impact of climate change
- The artwork made with pigments was decaying due to a process known as haloclasty, which is triggered by the growth of salt crystals due to repeated changes in temperature and humidity.
- This is caused by alternating wet and dry weather in the region.
- Indonesia has also experienced several natural disasters in recent years, which have quickened the process of deterioration.
Mark all islands of the Indonesian Archipelago in your Atlas.