By Ryan Morrison For Mailonline. A life-size drawing of a kangaroo in Australia is over 17, years old, according to a new study, meaning it could be one of the oldest rock paintings on the continent. Experts from the University of Melbourne have been working to confirm how old a number of ancient artworks are in the Kimberly Region of Western Australia. The two-metre long kangaroo is painted on the sloping ceiling of a rock shelter on the Unghango clan estate in Balanggarra country, the team said.
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A two-metre-long painting of a kangaroo in Western Australia's Kimberley region has been identified as Australia's oldest intact rock painting. Using the radiocarbon dating of 27 mud wasp nests, collected from over and under 16 similar paintings, a University of Melbourne collaboration has put the painting at 17, and 17, years old. The Kimberley-based research is part of Australia's largest rock art dating project, led by Professor Andy Gleadow from the University of Melbourne. Published today in Nature Human Behaviour, Dr Finch and his colleagues detail how rock shelters have preserved the Kimberley galleries of rock paintings, many of them painted over by younger artists, for millennia -- and how they managed to date the kangaroo rock painting as Australia's oldest known in-situ painting. The kangaroo is painted on the sloping ceiling of a rock shelter on the Unghango clan estate in Balanggarra country, above the Drysdale River in the north-eastern Kimberley region of Western Australia.