About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy
© GOOD Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Stingray sand sculpture carved 130,000 years ago is likely the oldest trace of animal art

Many of us have seen the caves and paintings but researchers are hinting that the stingray sand sculpture may beat the former as the oldest animal art.

Stingray sand sculpture carved 130,000 years ago is likely the oldest trace of animal art
Cover Image Source: YouTube | WONDER WORLD

It was true when they said there is so much to find if one only looks around. A simple observation can lead to mind-boggling results and is often the reason for many ancient aspects and other forms of art and beauty's discovery. 130,000-year-old stingray sculpture was found on the South African coast, which might be one of the oldest animal art, per IFL Science. They discovered it in 2018, when a rather peculiar observation resulted in the identification of a stingray. The sculpture had quite some symmetry, but its tail seemed to be cut off.

Representativ Image Source: Pexels| Krystal Basas
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Krystal Basas

Researchers at Nelson Mandela University concluded that the sculpture was indeed that of a blue stingray native to the Southern African coast. The study involved a comparison of the sculpture to match it with that of the piece of art, which showed much resemblance. The researchers also believe that the sculpture made years ago may have been carved with the help of an actual stingray that the maker may have come across. Charles Helm, a lead author and researcher at the University, said, “This is the first and thus far the only example that suggests tracing from this time period. The chances of something like this being preserved and amenable to our interpretation are remote, so it is possible that this may be the only example ever identified, but we can always hope that more will become apparent.”

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Daka
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Daka

Helm further explained that it is not a sure fact why a person may have thought of carving the creature, but they can assume different aspects of the same. While elaborating further, he said, “First might be the ease of tracing a rather flattish creature. The second might be its value as a food source. Third might be that it was indeed potentially lethal for people used to wander along the beach and in estuaries, so it might have commanded fear and respect.” The more intriguing part, however, is the age of the piece of art. Careful attention has been given to deriving when and how the art may have been made. The process is called “Optically Stimulated Luminescence.” The process helped reveal how long ago the portion of sand was exposed to sunlight and when it was buried.

Researchers were able to figure from the process and the study that the piece was likely traced 130,000 years ago during the Middle Stone Age. To add to its intriguing element, this sculptured art was designed long before sculpture art was introduced into the world and is said to have been prevalent 90,000 years before the appearance and finding of cave art. While more and more study reveals much about the nature and purpose of the sculpture, researchers believe that the whole idea of sand tracing may have been a “stepping stone” between nature and abstract art. WONDER WORLD shared a video on YouTube showing visual similarities concerning a blue stingray. The whole concept of the type of art, the mysterious ancient artist from 130,000 years ago, is beyond exciting and is a source to dig deeper into the rich roots of history.


More Stories on Scoop