Does thermoluminescence dating
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.
And since Sulawesi forms part of the "land-bridge" used by migrants from the Asian continent to Australia, it suggests that Australian art might easily be as old.
Australian aboriginal art encompasses works in a diverse range of media.
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.
(For the oldest and most famous cupules, see: the Bhimbetka Petroglyphs c.290,000 BCE).
Australian aboriginal art encompasses figure painting, as well as forms of abstract art.
But X-ray drawings are also seen on the other side of the Pacific, among the Indians of British Columbia and some of the Eskimo tribes of Alaska.
Aboriginal abstract paintings may include a variety of concentric circles, arcs, dots and other pictographs that are intended to convey information.
(5) Face painting, and other traditional forms of tribal art practised by aboriginal artists throughout Australasia, such as the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land.