June 20, 2012

Australia’s oldest rock art discovered by USQ researcher

Australia’s oldest rock art discovered by USQ researcher

A team of University of Southern Queensland archaeologists have uncovered the oldest rock art to have been discovered in Australia in a remote Northern Territory shelter.

Professor Bryce Barker, who was working with USQ researcher Dr Lara Lamb, found the charcoal drawn fragment dated at 28,000 years after excavating a small part of a massive rock shelter site named Narwala Gabarnmang.

Professor Barker and Dr Lamb (USQ), along with Professor Jean-Michel Geneste (Universite de Bordeaux) and Jean-Jacque Delannoy (Universite de Savoie) are partners in a major archaeological project 'Connecting Country' led by Dr Bruno David of Monash University in south western Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

This project was requested from the Jawoyn Association, based in Katherine, who would like the sites of their ancestors, including the rock art, documented and investigated for what it can tell about the history of their culture.

Through the project work researchers have learned that human occupation of the Narwala Gabarnmang site dates back to 45,000 years ago, making it one of the earliest human occupation sites in Australia.

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