Patterns through space: a spatial analysis of Murujuga rock art, Northwest Australia.

Author(s): Lucia Clayton Martinez

Year: 2015


Spatial analysis is a methodology that has been widely used for researching rock art. It has had a wide-ranging focus, varying from informed methods (using ethnographic information), to formal, and experiential methods. Spatial analyses undertaken on Murujuga, the Burrup Peninsula in northwest Australia, have primarily focused on establishing chronologies, the clustering of rock art motifs at a broad landscape scale, and the relationship with resource foci. My research has focused on formal methods, using spatial information to identify patterns in the rock art assemblage at the Happy Valley site, an engraved site complex in southern Murujuga.

Rock art perceived as communication is a structured form of transmitting information to a specific audience. This allows us to look for conventions of representation, grammatical rules that determine the form that rock art should take according to its location within the site. I have sampled the rock art assemblage at Happy Valley to look for these conventions and identify the cultural choices made by the artists in the production of rock art. In this paper I will identify patterns in the rock art that provide an insight into the nature of the site’s occupation and how the occupants perceived the landscape.

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Cite this Record

Patterns through space: a spatial analysis of Murujuga rock art, Northwest Australia.. Lucia Clayton Martinez. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397145)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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