The archaeology of western Arnhem Land’s rock art
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Western Arnhem Land, in the Top End of Australia’s Northern Territory, holds a special place in the history of Australian archaeology. Over 65 years of research since the late 1940s has led to numerous rockshelters being excavated and the documentation of an astonishing array of imagery on shelter walls and ceilings (Figure 1.1). Arnhem Land’s spectacular rocky landscapes, home to rare flora and fauna, hold one of the richest and longest archaeological records in Australia. To the broader world remote and rugged in its physical state, Arnhem Land was transformed over tens of thousands of years of Aboriginal settlement into sequential networks of cultural landscapes, clan estates, sacred sites and places imbued with complex history. Its rock art is amongst the richest, most diverse and visually most impressive regional assemblage anywhere in the world. Themes in recent rock art research include detailed analysis of changing subject matter, radiocarbon dating of beeswax figures, Harris Matrix sequences and excavating in deposits under painted surfaces – all further developed in this monograph.
The Archaeology of Rock Art in Western Arnhem Land, Australia
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology