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Digging deeper: The use of rock art in archaeological contexts to understand past lifeways on Murujuga, Northwest Australia.

Author(s): Meg Berry

Year: 2015

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Summary

Murujuga comprises one of the most complex rock art provinces in the world.The iron red boulders of this ancient landscape host petroglyphs which communicate a myriad of sociocultural dynamics of groups utilizing changing landscapes over millennia.These petroglyphs are situated within a landscape marked by complex and diverse archaeological signatures including stone arrangements,lithic scatters,quarries,middens and hut structures.Currently our archaeological understanding of the prehistoric lifeways on Murujuga is dominated by Holocene evidence, with the oldest subsurface material being dated to only 8,500 BP.However the rock art corpus speaks to use of landscapes for much longer than this and for possibly more than 30,000 years.In this paper I will analyse the rock art motifs that have previously been identified as the earliest phase of petroglyphs across Murujuga.I will contextualize this line of evidence with preliminary archaeological excavations undertaken during 2014 by the Centre for Rock Art Research and Management at the University of Western Australia.By drawing on multiple strands of evidence, this paper will illustrate the interplay between subsurface archaeology and analysis of the extensive Murujuga rock art corpus.The aim of this paper is to explore and further our understanding of how cultures utilized and socialized Murujuga landscapes from the Pleistocene onwards.

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Digging deeper: The use of rock art in archaeological contexts to understand past lifeways on Murujuga, Northwest Australia.. Meg Berry. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395177)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Oceania


Spatial Coverage

min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America