12,000-year-old rock paintings found in China
12,000-year-old rock paintings found in China

Beijing : Archaeologists have discovered 12,000-year-old rock paintings in China that depict scenes of human hunters.  Several images painted with ochre were discovered on a rock in the city Heihe in the Lesser Khingan Mountains in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. The archaeologists confirmed the images of three mammoths, which means the rock paintings were made before the extinction of the mammoth, or at least 12,000 years ago. 

Meanwhile, archaeologists believe that the paintings were made by using fingers, not brushes, and with paints such as ochre, according to the state-run Xinuha news agency.  "Ochre alone cannot be preserved on rock for such a long time. The paint is a mixture of ochre and animal glue, which has helped the artwork survive thousands of years," said Zhao Pingchun, one of the researchers. 

The discovery is important in the studies on life in the Lesser Khingan Mountains during the Palaeolithic period, and can provide information about human civilization in Heilongjiang and other parts of China. Researchers are trying to identify more images in the rock painting.

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