Cave paintings found in Indonesia several decades ago were recently dated and found to be over 40,000 years old. This is contemporaneous with -- and perhaps even older than!- the most ancient works of art found throughout Europe.

So the main question now: how did art develop? Did the cave paintings here and in Europe both arise from a "common ancestor," the geometric rock scratchings in Africa? Or did they arise independently? If the latter is true, it is striking to observe the artistic similarities: hand stencils, depictions of local animals (such as the Babirusa from the Indonesian painting), and more.

If you're having trouble spotting the animals depicted in these photographs, check out the figures from the original Nature article: