Uniform dating australia
Another AMS date on charcoal from 20 centimetres below this gave statistically the same date.These dates give a minimum age for the fragment and for the occupation of the shelter.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.
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).
However convincing arguments that this fragment is evidence of pigment application have yet to be presented.
Probably Australia's earliest known artistic system is the rock engravings in the Olary region of South Australia.
These geometric engravings of circles, tracks, cupules and other designs are thickly coated with desert varnish.
The style of these older engravings is remarkably uniform across Australia and other parts of the world.