The discovery indicates that figurative cave art — one of the most significant innovations in human culture — didn’t begin in Europe as many scientists thought, but rather in Southeast Asia during the last ice age, the researchers said. Drawing animals, an accomplishment in itself, may have been a gateway for illustrating other aspects of the human experience, including hunting and dance. “Initially, humans made figurative painting of large animals and they later start depicting the human world,” said study co-lead researcher Maxime Aubert, an archaeologist and geochemist at Griffith University in Australia. [In Photos: The World’s Oldest Cave Art]