At bamyan in afghanistan predating european oil painting

But it has failed to revive the heyday of tourism after decades of war, including the Taliban's 1996-2001 reign when they destroyed two massive Buddha statues carved into sandstone cliffs, labelling them an affront to Islam - an act globally condemned as 'cultural terrorism'.

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A second collection of around 500 cupules from roughly the same period was found in the Daraki-Chattan cave, along with a wealth of early stone tools.

They are found on every continent and throughout several time periods.

Some aboriginal cultures, such as those of Central Australia for example, still use them today.

The oldest examples of prehistoric rock art found to date are a form of pictograph that archaeologists call “cupules” (cup-marks), which are sometimes accompanied with linear carved grooves.

Cupules are depressions carved into both horizontal and vertical rock, often arranged systematically into rows or columns.

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