New research on Arnhem Land rock art

28Sep08

Daryl Guse, a PhD candidate working on Aboriginal rock art in the Wellington Ranges area, western Arnhem Land (Northern Territory) recently forwarded me a link to a story on his research.

In a find that has stunned archaeologists and anthropologists, a vast wall of about 1500 paintings chronicles the history of Aboriginal contact with outsiders, from Macassan prows and European sailing ships to 19th-century steamships and a World War II battleship.

Alongside exquisite rock art more than 15,000 years old are paintings that capture some of the 19th and 20th centuries’ most important technological innovations – a biplane, bicycle, car and rifle – as well as portraits of church ministers, sea captains and traders.

It’s a good story and the photo gallery has some fantastic images that are well worth taking a look at. This is only Daryl’s first field season as a PhD candidate (though he has been working in the area for years) and so I don’t think he has published any results as yet.

Links:
Sydney Morning Herald story and photo gallery

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