Perspectives on Differences in Rock Art - Jan Magne Gjerde

Perspectives on Differences in Rock Art - Jan Magne Gjerde

Desert Varnish and the Marine Transgression: A Chronological Indicator for Murujuga Rock Art

Perspectives on Differences in Rock Art - Jan Magne Gjerde

Ken Mulvaney [+-]
University of Western Australia
Dr Ken Mulvaney, Principal Advisor Cultural Heritage, Rio Tinto, Dampier 6713, Australia; Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, University of Western Australia, Perth 6009, Australia

Description

During the Dampier Archaeological Project (1980–1982), 9,244 petroglyphs were recorded. A study including 1,358 of these petroglyphs was conducted, in an effort to identify patterns relating to a mineral coating, or desert varnish, that is present in a relatively small percentage of the images (20 percent). Many more petroglyphs truncate the coating (34 percent). It was found that particular motif subjects were covered with the varnish, namely macropods, elaborate non-figurative designs, and certain types of anthropomorphic motifs, while marine subjects and different anthropomorphic forms cut through the varnish. Despite not being able to determine when the varnish may have formed, the subject dichotomy suggests that the early phases of the rock art predate the formation of the Dampier Archipelago around 7,000 BP, with a later production period occurring when a marine ecosystem became established.

Notify A Colleague

Citation

Mulvaney, Ken. Desert Varnish and the Marine Transgression: A Chronological Indicator for Murujuga Rock Art. Perspectives on Differences in Rock Art. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 393-410 Apr 2021. ISBN 9781781795606. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=38756. Date accessed: 24 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38756. Apr 2021

Dublin Core Metadata