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Rock Art Australia Directors in partnership with the University of Melbourne invite you to RAA’s Public Lecture by Prof. Andy Gleadow & book launch “Two Ways to See” by Kwini Traditional Owner Ian Waina.
Presented by Professor Andy Gleadow AO FAA
Dating rock art is a detective story that addresses multiple interconnected scientific questions. The Kimberley Rock Art Dating Project has run for almost a decade bringing together a team of geochronologists, geologists, geochemists, geophysicists, archaeologists and rock art experts from all around Australia, all working together with Traditional Owners on Kwini and Balanggarra lands across the north Kimberley to answer these questions.
The knowledge gained from this rock art research is providing important new insights into the natural processes that can threaten the survival of this remarkable record of Australia’s deep history. Join us to find out more…
Tuesday 14 November 2023
5:30pm-6:30pm Book launch and refreshments in the courtyard
6:30pm-7:30pm – Lecture
Elisabeth Murdoch Building
Building 134, The University of Melbourne , Parkville VIC 3010
Theatre G06, Elisabeth Murdoch Building (Building 134), The University of Melbourne, Parkville VIC 3010
By 8 November 2023
Andrew Gleadow is an Emeritus Professor of Geology and former Head of the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne. In 2017 he was awarded an AO for distinguished service to the earth sciences and to education, as an academic and researcher in the field of thermo- chronology and landscape evolution, and to professional geological and scientific societies.
Professor Gleadow has researched and published widely on the development and application of radiometric dating techniques, particularly in fission track analysis and thermochronology. His work has included dating of hominin fossil sites in East Africa. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences and a former President of the Geological Society of Australia. He is an RAA Director and Chair of RAA’s Science Advisory Council.
More about the Lecture
The Kimberley Rock Art Dating Project is a major multi-disciplinary project involving geochronologists, geologists, geochemists, geophysicists, archaeologists and rock art experts from all around Australia, all working together with Traditional Owners on Kwini and Balanggarra lands across the north Kimberley. The project has been supported throughout by Rock Art Australia and the Australian Research Council with practical support on country from the Kalumburu community.
This project has been underway for the last nine years, with another year of negotiations and planning before that. Over this decade of research we have made enormous progress in the very difficult and challenging problem of dating rock art found in sandstone rock shelters across the Kimberley. The formal project will come to a close end at the end of 2023 so it is timely to consider what we have learned over this decade of work.
The rock paintings and engravings, and the rock shelters that host them, are intimately a part of the Kimberley landscape so their history and ultimate survival are closely connected to the evolution of the natural environment over the tens of thousands of years that people have lived there. Our project has therefore taken a very broad view of the problem of how to date rock art realising that the processes operating from the scale of the whole landscape down to individual paintings and features of the rock surfaces are all part of the same story.
Dating rock art is very much a detective story that addresses multiple interconnected scientific problems. The project has now produced hundreds of new dates by multiple different methods and a well-defined calibration for the remarkable sequence of styles in Kimberley rock art. Ultimately the knowledge gained about the rock art is giving important new insights into the natural processes that can threaten the survival of this remarkable record of Australia’s deep history.
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