Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Microbial Art

A team of researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia has shown that the original pigments of some ancient Aboriginal rock paintings have been colonised by bacteria and fungi. These "living pigments" have replaced the original paint used by the artists. This probably explains why these paintings - known as "Bradshaw" art, after the naturalist who first identified them in the 19th Century - are impossible to date by normal means: the paint has gone, replaced by living microbes. Jack Pettigrew's photos show the boundary of black fungi in one of the ancient Bradshaw rock paintings.


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