Josie Maralngurra touching her hand stencil made when she was around 12. In the background are three white barramundi fish figures with red line-work also created by her father Djimongurr.
Photograph by Fiona McKeague, copyright Parks Australia
Australia’s stunning galleries of rock art are vast repositories of knowledge that can teach us much.
Adventurer Francis Birtles in his car with a man identified as Indigenous artist Nayombolmi.
National Library of Australia
One was a celebrity adventurer, the other was a skilled Indigenous artist who painted everything in sight. A new look at old photographs confirms their meeting.
Painting of a raider on horseback (bottom right) with a musket and domestic stock. A ‘rain-animal’ (top right) was likely summoned to wash away the raiders’ tracks.
Courtesy of Sam Challis and Brent Sinclair-Thomson
Runaway slaves joined indigenous Khoe-San people and raided colonial farms. The rock art they left in their hideouts tells a fascinating story.
Indigenous artists have been engraving rock shelters for millennia - long before the Kimberley’s celebrated rock art paintings. Now the rocks’ natural coatings are yielding clues to the engravings’ creation.
Rock paintings from the main gallery at Djulirri in Namunidjbuk clan estate, showing traditional Aboriginal motifs as well as European boats, airplanes, and more.
Photo by Sally K May.
Pictures of boats and ships in rock art at the northwestern tip of Australia show the European incursions from the 1800s — but also the much earlier and lesser known sea trade with southeast Asia.
This Warty Pig is part of a panel dated to more than 45,500 years in age.
Basran Burhan/Griffith University
The ancient cave paintings have only begun to tell us about the lives of the earliest people who lived in Australasia. The art is disappearing just as we are beginning to understand its significance.
December 1972: Billy Miargu, with his daughter Linda on his arm, and his wife Daphnie Baljur. In the background, the newly painted kangaroo.
Photograph by George Chaloupka, now in Parks Australia's Archive at Bowali.
How does rock art matter? New research finds it can act as a kind of intergenerational media –even when no longer visible to the eye.
Detail of the ceiling paintings of the San people in the Drakensberg, South Africa.
Courtesy © Stephen Townley Bassett
The team from Wits University returned to a well-known ceiling panel in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains, armed with new knowledge about the beliefs of the San people who made the paintings.
The painting of pigs at least 45,500 years ago on a cave wall in Sulawesi may be the earliest figurative rock art ever found.
Te Pokohiwi, or the Wairau Bar, at the top of the South Island: arrival point for some of the first explorers from East Polynesia.
Aotearoa New Zealand is falling behind in world heritage sites. Is it time we lobbied for recognition of our unique cultural history?
Participants in the Wintawari Guruma Rock Art Research Project record rock art near Tom Price in the Pilbara region.
Jo McDonald, CRAR+M Database, Photo reproduced with permission WGAC
Heritage is non-renewable — just like the mineral wealth of this country.
A Maliwawa macropod found in the Namunidjbuk clan estate of the Wellington Range.
More than 500 paintings at 87 rock shelters provide a remarkable glimpse into past Aboriginal life.
This hunting scene, painted 44,000 years ago, is the oldest known work of representational art in the world.
A recent cave art discovery in remote Indonesia is changing our understanding of the beginnings of art and the emergence of religious-like thinking in the early human story.
Ranger Trevor Bramwell on the walk up to the Split Rock art galleries in Cape York’s Quinkan Country in 2017.
The World Heritage Listing for Victoria’s Budj Bim fish traps was ground-breaking. Here are five other Australian Indigenous sites that also deserve greater attention.
The Enderby Island ship image depicting His Majesty’s Cutter Mermaid, which visited the Dampier Archipelago in 1818.
Courtesy: Murujuga Dynamics of the Dreaming ARC Project
An image of a ship on a rock in Western Australia’s Dampier Archipelago depicts HMC Mermaid – the main vessel of Phillip Parker King, an unsung hero of Australian exploration.
Detail of the Connecticut Inscription, with image enhancement.
Centre for Rock Art Research and Management database
Etchings over much earlier Aboriginal engravings show foreign whalers made contact with Australia’s remote northwest long before colonial settlement of the area.
Paintings of human figures from East Kalimantan. NB: The human figures, originally mulberry-coloured, have been digitally traced over to enhance the art.
The cave paintings in Borneo show people and animals and are now thought to be the world’s oldest example of figurative art.
Detail of a fish (likely black bream) on Enderby Island.
Photo Vic Anderson
Rock art in the Dampier Archipelago and the Burrup Peninsula contains engravings of animals that are now extinct, such as thylacines and a fat-tailed species of kangaroos.
Rock art in central Northumberland, northern England.
Trying to save Neolithic rock art made by our ancient ancestors is no easy task. But it tells us how people used to live.
The Burrup Peninsula, or Murujuga, contains over a million individual works of rock art by the Yaburara people.
New research has cast doubt on the effectiveness of scientific studies monitoring industry impact on rock art in the Burrup Peninsula.