HARBIN — Archaeologists have confirmed that a rock painting discovered in the Lesser Khingan Mountains in Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province dates back 12,000 years.
Zhao Pingchun, researcher with the provincial institute of archaeology, said that several images painted with ocher were discovered on a rock in the city Heihe. Preliminary studies showed that it is a scene of humans hunting.
Zhao said that archaeologists confirmed the images of three mammoths, which means the rock paintings were made before the extinction of the mammoth, or at least 12,000 years ago.
Meanwhile, archaeologists believe that the paintings were made by using fingers, not brushes, and with paints such as ocher.
“Ocher alone cannot be preserved on rock for such a long time. The paint is a mixture of ocher and animal glue, which has helped the artwork survive thousands of years,” he added.
Liu Xiaodong, deputy head of the institute, said the discovery is important in the studies on life in the Lesser Khingan Mountains during the Paleolithic period, and can provide information about human civilization in Heilongjiang and other parts of China.
Researchers are trying to identify more images in the rock painting.