Oldest Oil Paintings Found in Caves

Oldest Oil Paintings Found in Caves (Photos)
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February 6, 2008A newly discovered mural is one of many in 12 of Afghanistan's famed Bamian caves that show evidence of an oil-based binder. The binder was used to dry paint and help it adhere to rocky surfaces.

The muralsand the remains of two giant, destroyed Buddhasinclude the world's oldest known oil-based paint, predating European uses of the substance by at least a hundred years, scientists announced late last month.

Researchers made the discovery while conducting a chemical analysis as part of preservation and restoration efforts at Bamian, which lies about 145 miles (240 kilometers) northwest of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

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—Photograph courtesy NRICPT-Japan
 
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