Rock Carvings Document the Secret History of Aboriginal Contact with Outsiders


Photo: Rick Stevens

Hidden in the rugged hills of Arnhem, Australia, are stunning Aboriginal rock carvings that depict the history of Aboriginal contact with outsiders - from sailing ships to 19th-century steamships and even a World War II battleship!

Alongside exquisite rock art more than 15,000 years old are paintings that capture some of the 19th and 20th centuries' most important technological innovations - a biplane, bicycle, car and rifle - as well as portraits of church ministers, sea captains and traders.

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I believe this could be the real thing, however would be extremely interested to know if they actually bothered to ask the traditional land owners permission to photograph these rocks.
I have studied australian aboriginal art under Sally Butler from University of Queensland.
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I went back and ahad a really rthorough look at the slide show, and sure enough the boats are painted not scratched in. Which blows my line of thinking out of the water.

But it does throw up some very odd things, a lot of the "modern" drawings are painted over older paintings.

THis as far as I kow simply doesn't happen with in aboriginal art/tradition.

The pantings are semi mystical in themsselves and are maintianed generation after generation, going back a SERIOUSLY long time.

So it would be frankly bizarre for some one to decide that drawing a a biplane or the missionaries should be domne over the old sacred paintings.

It may well be from the 19th century but it does seem very strange to attribute it to aboriginal peoples.

As their population has gone into decline many of the old sites simply don't have enough informed people to maintain them, and quite a few have had significant vandalism problems.

19th century vandalism?

Just a thought.
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The majority of the images seen in the slide show look like what you'd expect to see for aboriginal art. There's even a couple other depictions of ships that blend right into that style.

What's pictured above looks like someone Photoshopped some 19th century etchings onto a cave wall. Those are suspicious.
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