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Howard Morphy, Andrée Rosenfeld, Peter Sutton, Ian Keen, Catherine H. Berndt, Ronald M. Berndt, Paul Memmott, Kate Khan, Betty Meehan, Carol Cooper, Luke Taylor, Robert Layton, J. V. S. Megaw, M. Ruth Megaw and Francesca Cavazzini

Culture of the original inhabitants of Australia and their descendants. This survey covers the traditional art forms of the Australian Aborigines, such as rock art, sculpture in wood, clay and sand, body decoration, and bark painting, both before and after European colonization took place at the end of the 18th century. It also examines the interrelationships between the art of Aboriginal groups living in different regions on the continent. Traditional art forms have continued to be produced in most regions well into the late 20th century, but at the same time some contemporary Aboriginal artists, influenced by the dominant white culture in which they now live, have begun to explore new forms and media; this art, produced mainly for external markets, is discussed separately.

Australia and New Guinea formed a single landmass, the prehistoric continent of Sahul, until c. 8000 years ago, when the rising sea-level separated them at the Torres Strait. This continent was first occupied at least 40,000 years ago, by people who arrived by boat from South-east Asia. By 30,000 ...

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Darrell Lewis

Site of Aboriginal culture, c. 100 km north-east of Broken Hill, in the arid country of western New South Wales, south-east Australia. It is known for its complex of pecked rock engravings; these are concentrated on an area of sloping sandstone pavements (c. 100×30 m), although others are more dispersed. Some are found along an ephemeral creek that leads to the base of the sandstone outcrop where there are several rock holes that provided the Aborigines with a permanent water-supply. The rock holes were discovered by Europeans in the mid-19th century and were visited by several exploring expeditions in the 1860s. Although the engravings are within sight of the water-holes, which were of great importance to European settlers and travellers in the region, they were not documented until the 1920s. The area containing the engravings and other Aboriginal relics was declared a reserve in ...

Article

Darrell Lewis

Aboriginal site in the Laura region of Cape York Peninsula, northern Queensland, Australia. The name refers to a group of seven rock shelters located near the head of a small gorge on an elevated sandstone plateau. These contain paintings and engravings that are typical of so-called Laura ...