Oldest Cave Paintings  In The World

By Raza Mehdi

Aug 07, 2022

In Bulgaria, the Magura Cave walls are adorned by prehistoric paintings that date back around 8000 to 4000 years ago. Over 700 drawings were discovered on its cave walls. They’re painted with bat excrement and represent dancing and hunting people and various animals.

Magura Cave

Image: Wikipedia Commons

6,300 BC –  3,000 BC

In southern Argentina, Cueva de las Manos is a cave in an isolated region. It is famous for its hundreds of stenciled outlines of the hands of humans.The majority of the human hands are left hands, suggesting that painters held spraying pipes using their right hand.

Cueva de las Manos

7,000 BC

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Laas Gaal is a cave complex in Somalia containing some of the earliest-known rock art within the Horn of Africa. These prehistoric cave paintings depict cows in ceremonial robes that are accompanied by a giraffe, domesticated dogs, and humans.

Laas Gaal

9,000 BC - 3,000 BC

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Hubble Space Telescope (a joint project between NASA, ESA and Space Telescope Science Institute) was a perfect gift for space researchers. Since 1990, Hubble has showered us with glorious, unprecedented images of the wonders of space.


13,000 BC - 12,700 BC

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Lascaux is famous for its Palaeolithic cave paintings, found in southwestern France. The most famous painting is the Great Hall of the Bulls in which deer, horses, and bulls are displayed. One of its bulls is 17 ft in length, the biggest animal found thus far in any cave.

Lascaux Paintings

13,000 BC - 12,700 BC

Image: Wikipedia Commons

In Brazil's Northeast region, many of the rock shelters in the Serra da Capivara National Park are decorated with cave paintings, some more than 25,000 years old. They are an outstanding testimony to one of the oldest human communities of South America.

Serra da Capivara 

23,000 BC

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Altamira is a Paleolithic cave located in northern Spain. The paintings were of such a high quality that scientists had doubts about their authenticity.  It wasn’t until the year 1902 that they were acknowledged as genuine.The cave was inhabited for millennia and so, besides Paleolithic cave art, it contains remains of the daily activities of the prehistoric population.

Cave of Altamira

35,600 years ago

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Archaeologists in 2021 discovered the world’s oldest known cave painting: a life-sized picture of a wild pig that was made at least 45,500 years ago in Indonesia. The team believes the artwork was made by Homo sapiens, as opposed to now extinct human species like Denisovans, but cannot say this for certain.

Image: NASA

Maros-Pangkep Caves

45,500 years ago