Some old Rock Carvings near Halls Creek (Petroglyphs)

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 18:38
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Hi there,

At a remote pool near Mount Bannerman there are some carvings inscribed into the surrounding rock face, in only one area that I could see. They are extremely weathered and I would imagine they are extremely ancient.

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This rock-pool is one of only a few major pools in the area about 145 kilometres south south west of Halls Creek, however seems to have the most weathered carvings.

Would anybody care to speculate as to the age of the Petroglyphs?

Cheers
Alan

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Reply By: equinox - Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 19:13

Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 19:13
Here's some pictures of more. These are not from this pool however are within four kilometres.

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Follow Up By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 00:33

Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 00:33
G'day Alan

Thanks for the image up load, as with all petroglyph sites the Geology is relatively easy to date, but as far as the actual handy work goes its all guess work.

As with all of the known (recorded) petroglyph sites through out the Newman region the actual petroglyph age is only guessed at, but the human occupancy time line has been scientifically researched and dated to as far back as 27000 years, this particular occupation site is a humble rock shelter in the southern cliff line of Ethel Gorge, east of Newman.
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So, one can again only guess at the actual age of the closest petroglyphs to the occupation site as being around the same age of 27000 years.
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No matter what the time line and gestimated age of anything such as a petroglyph, it can be a very humbling moment in ones life on first sighting them.

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Follow Up By: equinox - Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 15:11

Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 15:11
Hi Joe,

They look like great examples - I concur with your thoughts about being humbled, especially since they could possibly have been ancient when Stonehenge was being built.

From yours and others replies it seems that it is very hard to approximate the age of the Petroglyphs - one can only imagine I guess.

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Alan

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Reply By: Bill BD - Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 19:33

Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 19:33
I am not an expert but I believe these were not a static art form, that is, they were retouched and added to over the years. So, the age will range from first inhabitants through to 20th century if people responsible were still living traditionally in the area. I know that's how it is in Karratha/Dampier. Some petroglyphs are 19th century (one possibly shows sailors working on a sailing ship mast) but others are clearly ancient. I found one that had been retouched for so long it was deeply incised into the rock and so old the rock had reoxidised (i think thats what happened) so it didn't show as a different colour.
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Follow Up By: bazz - Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 20:01

Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 20:01
was talking to a couple who work on" True North' cruising the Kimberlys, apparently the rock art in some places is foreign to the local tribes and is similar to what is found in Egypt, ie masks and UFO type faces and hands, food for thought.....!!
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Follow Up By: Teejay - Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 21:19

Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 21:19
Bazz, they would talking about Bradshaw Paintings. Sorry, not alien or Egyptian but very ancient. Probably the oldest in the world . Check the Bradshaw Foundation website. They can be found in parts of the Kimberley with lots of examples on the Mitchell Plateau.

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/bradshaws/index.php
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Follow Up By: Bill BD - Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 22:25

Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 22:25
The one I described above was different in design to many of the others. It looked more polynesian or "maori-ish". I was being shown around by a researcher and found this one in an "out of the way" hill. They surface and get covered up again in that area (so I was told). Fascinating. Apparently the mob who looked after them were wiped out in one massacre.
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Follow Up By: Member - jezza68 - Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 13:15

Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 13:15
RE: The Polynesian style petroglyphs

Some years ago I was shown a petroglyph on a remote hillside near Halls Creek.
The carving was very Maori in design. Big eyes, fat lips and tongue with "Tiki" style designs surrounding.
This actually had the traditional petroglyphs carved over some of it??

Jezza
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Follow Up By: equinox - Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 14:54

Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 14:54
Hi Bill,

You have a valid point, makes sense. Any ancient carvings would have had to endure many generations of other inhabitants potential alterations.

Cheers
Alan

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Reply By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 21:37

Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 21:37
Alan, I think it's pretty difficult to ascertain the age of petroglyphs.
You can date the age of the rock, but not when someone gouged a mark in the rock.
There are some guesstimates of the age of the coating that is found in petroglyphs, but isn't a very accurate guide from what I have been told.

Many petroglyphs and aboriginal art is similar to our version of our family photo album and perhaps our own diaries, and have been added to over quite a lot of generations.
So when the first ones were done could be quite a long time before the last ones were done in the same area.

cheers

Dave
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Follow Up By: equinox - Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 14:57

Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 14:57
Hi Dave,

I wouldn't want to be in charge of the dating process. It must be very difficult ie how to determine the original size of the carvings, and then to determine how much deterioration has occured since then.

Thanks for your comments.

Cheers
Alan

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Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 23:16

Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 23:16
if you turn your screen up-side down you will clearly see the words ...
""" Shaun was ere 1988 """"""
.
.
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Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 23:20

Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 23:20
ok just kidding but who did eh ???

Alan, have you ever had the chance to go back after dark and take pics with a flash, i dont know why but it brings our hidden colours and features you simply dont see in daylight, if you can next time try it, i took some on a remote NT island and when home could not believe what i could see with flash and cant see in daylight...
Cheers
Joe
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Follow Up By: equinox - Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 15:00

Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 15:00
I didn't!!! though I may have turned my head slightly. :)))

I'll give your idea about using the flash a go next time I'm there, or next time I come across something similar.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 23:40

Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 23:40
Hi Alan, some of your photos reminded me of the petroglyphs at Roma Gorge in the West Macdonnells NT. The erosion of the 'pecking' style does show a great age, and a fascinating resemblance in style and some of the actual shapes to central Australian petroglyphs - although some are very different.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 15:10

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 15:10
Hi Alan,

I think the only way to establish a possible date for petroglyphs is to discover the earliest carbon from fires in the immediate vicinity.

Yes, I agree with others, very humbling and thought provoking to see such artwork.

Min
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