One of the world's oldest known examples of rock art has been uncovered in a remote part of Australia's Northern Territory.
University of Southern Queensland's Professor Bryce Barker, an expatriate New Zealander, was part of a team of Australian and French archaeologists to make the find last year.
But he says carbon dating at Waikato University only recently established the art was at least 28,000 years old.
The site where the artwork was found, in remote Arnhem Land, has signs of human occupation dating back 45,000 years, he says.
A 35,000-year-old stone axe was also found at the site, a technology not used elsewhere in the world until much later.
The only older examples of rock art dated back to 36,000 years ago in France and 40,000 years ago in northern Spain.
However, Prof Barker says his team is only three years into a five-year study of the site and is confident even older pieces can be found.
"We've got an occupation there of 45,000 (years) so were they painting art that early?" he said.
"Those are some of the questions we'll be asking in the future."
The site where the rock art was found, Narwala Gabarnmang, is considered the "Sistine Chapel" of rock art sites, he says.
"There are depictions of everything from fish, kangaroos, all the animals that they ate, crocodiles, dingoes to people mythical figures, you name it, it's there," he said.
Prof Barker said the research team was put together by members of the local indigenous population, the Jawoyn Association, so they could use science to complement oral history of their culture.