In these unusual days of lockdown, RAA continues its national mission: telling the story of the earliest human habitation of Australia, and subsequent adaptation and stories of survival. This story begins with the rock art record, and continues with the help of science, archaeology, and cultural knowledge to give us revelations that inform and inspire us all. Australia’s own story.
Chairman Laurie Brereton, Maria Myers and Prof Andy Gleadow have put together a compelling 3-min video on our mission and current research commitment. The rock art is the country’s most significant Indigenous cultural asset. If you can support us, we encourage you to donate online.
TO Ian Waina and Dr Helen Green, Rock Art Dating project, Photo Credit: BAC & RAA
Our research work continues apace. The Rock Art Dating and Kimberley Visions projects are well advanced. We have a lot of fieldwork, laboratory analysis and data behind us. The emphasis for the researchers now is on writing up this work for publication. The results have led to a string of new research publications that are creating a great deal of interest around the world.
Kimberley Visions has delayed its final fieldwork season until mid-2021, refocusing energies on data management, analysis and research. The team has a series of publications underway led by both the UWA and Monash hubs, including papers on cached metal objects from the pastoral period, excavations and the Kimberley rock art style sequence.
For the Rock Art Dating project the Covid-19 restrictions are manageable. No fieldwork was planned for 2020 in order to focus on analysis of existing sample materials and write up the exciting results from the last few years’ work for publication. Within the lockdown period two manuscripts have already been submitted for review: Green et al., to Quaternary Science Reviews, focusing on research into the origins and dating of engraved mineral glazes and their potential as paleoclimate archives in the Kimberley; Finch et al., to Science Advances, detailing the radiocarbon dating of wasp nests associated with the Irregular Infill Animal period art. Both manuscripts provide significant advances in the fields of rock art dating and paleoclimate research in this under represented region. Students Jenna Hoy and Damien Finch will submit their Masters and PhD theses in the coming months, presenting their final presentations over Zoom!
The team remains in contact with the remote Kimberley communities, sharing photos and phone calls with friends and colleagues during this difficult time.
We all look forward to resuming our work in the field with Aboriginal partners on country.
Rock Art Dating and Kimberley Vision Research Team. Photo Credit: BAC & RAA. Photo: Robin Maher.
This research is happening because people like you support this vital work. Your enthusiasm is an inspiration to all the researchers and without your help none of this remarkable work would be possible.