Start Radiocarbon dating rock art

Radiocarbon dating rock art

AMS is a new radiocarbon dating method enabling the dating of much smaller samples of carbon than the traditional radiocarbon (C-14) method.

Australian rock art, while extensive and in places of great age, is nevertheless not the oldest in the world.

Both rock art and portable palaeoart were made long before Australia was apparently first settled.

Ochre comes from soft varieties of iron oxide minerals (such as haematite - a fine-grained iron oxide which produces a strong red colour with a purple tint) and from rocks containing ferric oxide.

Radiocarbon dating is limited to a maximum age of around 40 000 years, and the newer techniques are required for dating of older materials.

Initial claims that these carvings were been radiocarbon dated to around 40 000 years ago have not been supported subsequently.

There has also been a recent report (June 2001) on the dating of rock carvings in the East Pilbara of Western Australia.

Australian rock art shows some of the oldest-known artistic images by modern humans.