Other, possibly even older examples of prehistoric art (cupules) have been discovered in the granite rock shelter of Turtle Rock, Northern Queensland, and in the dark limestone caves of southern Australia.
Australian Aborigine artists have continued to practice their traditional arts and crafts into the modern era, creating in the process a unique and unbroken record of artistic expression.
This gravity defying characteristic means that the hunter does not have to worry about estimating hold over as he would with a bow and arrow.
Rather, he just throws directly at his target whether it's 5 or 85 meters distance, as the trajectory to the target is the same either way. The throwstick gives serious long range empowerment to the human arm.
As a result, even though Australia is home to more petroglyphs and pictographs than any other country in the world, the sheer number of these cave paintings and rock engravings places a heavy burden on the country's limited archeological resources.
According to Oppenheimer, modern humans first began arriving in Australia from islands across the Timor Sea during the Middle Paleolithic era, between 70,000 and 60,000 BCE.
Evidence of the ancient art (if any) of this first wave of aboriginal settlers is extremely scarce, but there are signs of pigment usage which suggest that they began painting almost immediately, although this might have been face or body painting rather than rock painting.
In any event, human occupation in Australia has been carbon-dated to at least 53,000 BCE, and the oldest Australian human fossil has been dated to around 38,000 BCE - the difference probably being due to the drowning of the earliest coastal occupation sites by rising sea-levels: a phenomenon known to Europe through the Cosquer Cave paintings, near Marseilles.
All this means that aboriginal migrants were settled in Australia some 10,000 years before their northern counterparts arrived in Europe.