11,000 Year Old Wall Painting Found Syria

November 4, 2011 by staff 

11,000 Year Old Wall Painting Found Syria, French archaeologists have discovered an underground wall of 11,000 years of painting in northern Syria which they believe is the oldest in the world.

The 2 square meters of paintings, red, white and black, was found at the Neolithic settlement of al-Mughara Djado on the Euphrates, northeast of the city of Aleppo, team leader Eric Coqueugniot told Reuters.

“It looks like a modernist painting. Some of the ones I saw were compared to work by (Paul) Klee. Through carbon dating that was established is about 9,000 BC,” said Coqueugniot.

“We found another painting next to it, but not be excavated until next year. It is slow work,” said Coqueugniot, who works at the French National Centre for Scientific Research.

Rectangles dominate the ancient painting, which was part of an adobe circular wall of a large house with a wooden roof. The site has been excavated since the beginning of 1990.

The painting will be moved to the museum of Aleppo, next year, Coqueugniot said. Its red came from burnt hematite rock, crushed limestone formed the white and black charcoal provided.

World’s oldest painting on a wall was constructed in Turkey, but that was dated 1,500 years after the al-Djado Mughara, the magazine Science.

The people of al-lived plants Mughara Djado hunting and nature. They resembled modern day humans in looks but were not farmers or domesticated, Coqueugniot said.

“There was a purpose of having the painting in what looked like a communal house, but do not know. The village was abandoned and the house stuffed with mud,” he said.

A large number of stones and weapons have been found at the site, as well as human skeletons buried under houses.

“This site is one of the Neolithic villages in modern Syria and southern Turkey. It seems that they communicated with each other and peaceful exchanges,” said Coqueugniot.

Mustafa Ali, a leading Syrian artist, said similar geometric design to that of al-Mughara Djado painting found its way into art throughout the Levant and Persia, and even can be seen in carpets and kilims (rugs).

“We must not lose sight that the painting is archaeological, but in some ways is also modern,” he said.

France is an important contributor to excavation efforts in Syria, where 120 teams are at work. Syria was at the crossroads of the ancient world and has thousands of mostly unexcavated archaeological sites.

Artist Paul Klee Swiss German had ties to the Bauhaus school and was important in the German modernist movement.

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