Ancient rock drawings discovered in Iran can be world's oldest

Ancient rock drawings discovered in Iran can be world's oldest

An Iranian archaeologist Mohammad Naserifard discovered rock drawings in the hills outside Iran's Khomein dating back tens of thousands of years, that may be the world’s oldest etchings of their kind.

“We were on a picnic and all my friends were taking an afternoon nap. I went wandering and observing the rocks in the valley and I found a rock full of shapes. I was so excited! Finding these works was like finding a treasure,” he recalled.

He estimates he has since travelled more than 700,000 kilometres across two dozen Iranian provinces, unearthing some 50,000 ancient paintings and engravings.

Experts from the Netherlands assessed in 2008 that one cluster of drawings he had found could be more than 40,000 years old. Many of the etchings are of animals. One of the more striking engravings he has found is that of an ibex deer, thought to be around 4,000 years old.

It’s difficult to accurately date the findings since Iranian scientists are not permitted to use the latest carbon dating technology under sanctions aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program, which prevents the use of uranium analysis in any of the country’s research, the Independent reports.