The fragments were designed using multiple pigments and engraved with hatching motifs.
Two different main motifs were recorded: a hatched band and another using sub-parallel or converging lines.
Plus, the many cupules found carved into vertical walls are unlikely to be utilitarian.
The oldest undisputed depiction of the human form is the Venus of Hohle Fels. A much older statue, while controversial, has gained a firm claim to authenticity.
The age was determined using uranium-series dating of mineral coatings on top of the sediment layer holding the paintings (the paintings themselves could be older).
If radiocarbon testing determines that it is older than the sediments, it might also be the oldest painting of any kind ever discovered.
Both figures appear to have been used for ceremonial or religious purposes.
The Tan Tan figure was painted ochre, a color often used for ceremonies.
The case for this figure has been further strengthened by similar discoveries throughout the nearby regions, such as the Tan Tan figurine of Morocco (300,000–500,000 years old).
While the site hasn’t been radiocarbon-dated yet, Acheulian-era artifacts of India are thought to be about as old as similar finds found in Africa and Europe at an astounding 290,000 years old.
A second collection of around 500 cupules from roughly the same period was found in the Daraki-Chattan cave, along with a wealth of early stone tools.
The oldest examples of prehistoric rock art found to date are a form of pictograph that archaeologists call “cupules” (cup-marks), which are sometimes accompanied with linear carved grooves.
Cupules are depressions carved into both horizontal and vertical rock, often arranged systematically into rows or columns.