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After visiting the Altamira cave paintings in northern Spain, Pablo Picasso famously exclaimed “after Altamira, all is decadence”. The art in this cave and in many others that dot parts of France, Spain and other regions in the world are among the greatest pieces of art ever created.

Like all great art they provide an insight into the way that people thought, even though it was tens of thousands of years ago.

The site at Ubirr has some of the finest examples of “X-ray art” in the world.

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Discovered in the late 19th century, the Altamira Cave in northern Spain was the first cave in which prehistoric paintings were discovered.

The paintings were of such an astounding quality that the scientific society doubted their authenticy and even accused it’s discoverer Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola of forgery.

Advanced techniques such as the use of perspective is clearly demonstrated in the ‘panel of horses’ which shows several animals on the same plane.

Located in the Northern Territory of Australia, Kakadu National Park contains one of the greatest concentrations of Aboriginal art sites in Australia.

More than 700 drawings have been discovered on the cave walls.

They are painted with bat guano (bat excrement) and represent hunting and dancing people as well as a large variety of animals.

Approximately 5000 art sites have been discovered in Kakadu along the escarpment and on rock outliers.

The Aboriginal painting are estimated to range in age from 20,000 years to the recent present although most of the paintings are less than 1500 years old.

Laas Gaal is a complex of caves and rock shelters in northwestern Somalia that contain some of the earliest known rock art in the Horn of Africa and the African continent in general.

The prehistoric cave paintings are estimated to be between 11,000 and 5,000 years old.

Animals such as bisons, tigers, lions, and crocodiles have also been abundantly depicted in some caves.

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