Oldest Oil Paintings Found in Caves

Oldest Oil Paintings Found in Caves (Photos)
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Afghanistan's Bamian cliffs are probably best known for once holding two enormous Buddha statues, as seen in this February 2001 image.

Just one month after this photo was taken, Taliban officials began to destroy the mighty carvings.

Scientists from around the world have since embarked on a painstaking process to collect the remnants of the dynamited statues and reconstruct them.

In the meantime, researchers have found that the paint used on the Buddhas, along with murals in 12 of 50 painted Bamian caves, contained oil-based bindersthe world's oldest known examples of oil paintings.

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—Photograph by Zaheeruddin Abdullah/AP
 
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