Which way do we go? A story-based approach to archaeological based interpretation of the rock art of Castle Rock, Chillagoe, north Queensland, Australia

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Galiina Ellwood, W.
Winn, Nicola
Campbell, John B.
C. Ray, Owen
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Robert Bednarik

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2013
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Abstract

Analysis of the rock art motifs at Castle Rock, near Chillagoe, north Queensland, has shown that this site provides a detailed landscape map of the surrounding country. A series of motifs shaped like asterisks or stars suggest vertical views of a number of the individual limestone tower karsts of the district, containing site complexes and other important cultural landscape features (such as springs and mines). We measured the alignments from the central star and concluded that the relative positions of the star motifs are an accurate representation of the landscape features. Another set of motifs at Castle Rock, 18 dingo paw prints, mirrors the peaks of the western Featherbed Range near the Walsh River. The Walsh represents a major shared travel route for the Mbarbarum, Wakamen and Kuku Djungan. Other motifs also appear to represent major site locations such as mound springs located in the adjoining Mbarbarum country. This suggests that the palaeomap represented by the ceiling rock art of Castle Rock sits at or near an intersection of primary trade and travel routes between the surrounding woodland savannahs and the rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands to the east, as well as to places much further afield in western Queensland. Recently recorded ethnographic information supports these conclusions.

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Rock Art Research

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30

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1

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© 2013 Archaeological Publications. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology

Visual Arts and Crafts

Archaeology

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