In a play on the old adage “if walls could talk,” a mural has been discovered that could be the world’s earliest warning sign, Daily Mail has reported. The 9,000-year-old painting, found on a wall buried in the ancient Turkish settlement of Çatalhöyük in the central Anatolian province of Konya, shows a village in front of an erupting volcano.
Researchers now believe, through the use of mineral dating and geochemical tests, that the volcano shown in the painting is the nearby Mount Hasan, found 70 miles from the settlement site. It is thought the mural was painted to warn about the dangers of this stratovolcano, yet it may also have been the first landscape painting or even the first news report.
The reddish-brown mural was painted using a natural earth pigment called ochre onto an adobe wall, made from sand, clay and water. It was unearthed during excavations on the site of the ancient settlement. The research will be discussed at the Geological Society of America in Denver tomorrow, according to Daily Mail.