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Coming to grips with the rock art and landscape evolution

RAA virtual event held on 29 September ’21. Prof Andy Gleadow, Chair of RAA’s Science Advisory Council and leader of the Rock Art Dating Project talks to Prof Bruno David about the remarkable geomorphic findings from a cave excavation, and to Dr Helen Green and Dr Damien Finch about their research and aims, and most exciting discoveries.

The panelists mention numerous dates. Dr Damien Finch’s radiocarbon dates on mud wasp nests associated with some 21 different Gwion motifs from many rock shelters show a consistent pattern with a culmination around 12,000 years, although some could be older than 16,000 years.  There are also many other dates associated with other styles, especially the ‘Irregular Infill Animal Period’ that confirm that the IIAP paintings are consistently older than the Gwion figures. We have shared with you in an earlier E-News the one very robustly dated Kangaroo that is 17,300 years old.   Over the past 7 years the scientists have learned that it can be remarkably difficult to be completely certain about the relationship of a measurable material such as a wasp nest and the art they are trying to date. At Rock Art Australia we have always been clear that we need lots of dates from lots of sites to be able to say – ‘here’s the evidence’ – and that is what the Rock Art Dating Project is working to achieve.

The panelists mention numerous publications. Access to research papers is via the RAA website.  For more information about the work Dr Helen Green is work click here to read the news article. To download the paper relating to the research by Prof Bruno David click here.


Link to more information

Construction of Rock Art Sites

Glazes and Rock Art

Wasp Nest Dating

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