Painting history: Indigenous observations and depictions of the 'other' in northwestern Arnhem Land, Australia

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Author(s)
May, Sally K
Tacon, Paul SC
Wesley, Daryl
Travers, Meg
Griffith University Author(s)
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Sean Ulm & Annie Ross

Date
2010
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Abstract

In this paper we focus on contact rock paintings from three sites in northwestern Arnhem Land, Australia. In doing so we highlight that such sites provide some of the only contemporary Indigenous accounts of cross-cultural encounters that took place across northern Australia through the last 500 years. Importantly, they have the potential to inform us about the ongoing relationships that existed between different parties. The lack of research on contact rock art is emphasised and the development of a large-scale project (of which this fieldwork is part) aimed at addressing this problem is outlined. Important new findings for contact rock art are presented, including evidence for 'traditional' protocols relating to rock art continuing long after first contact, evidence for particular contact period subject matter dominating in art of this region, and the oldest date yet recorded for contact art in Australia.

Journal Title

Australian Archaeology

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71

Issue

December

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ARC

Grant identifier(s)

DP0877463

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© The Author(s) 2010. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this journal please refer to the journal's website or contact the authors.

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Subject

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander archaeology

Historical studies

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